Images of immigrant children detained in cages, separated from family members, and living in unsanitary, unhealthy conditions have outraged the nation in recent weeks. The faith community has decried this treatment of children not only as a violation of human dignity and rights, but also as contrary to religious teachings and the sacred call to care for people who are most at risk, especially children.
FAN has joined multiple Catholic organizations in planning a solidarity action to call for an end to the inhumane treatment of immigrant children and families by the U.S. government. The first phase is prayerful direct action in Washington DC, at 10am on July 18th. We will gather to call on this Administration to end the abuse and detention of children. Here are the details:
When: 10am on July 18, 2019
Where: Section 8 on the Capitol Lawn (across from Russell Senate Office Building)
What: Join us for prayer, a call to action by Catholic leaders, and nonviolent civil disobedience, for those who choose.
RSVP here: https://cutt.ly/jYJbDj
Please seriously consider coming to Washington DC on July 18th to participate with us in showing the Administration that our Catholic faith demands we treat our neighbor as we would want to be treated.
If your congregation or organization would like to sign up as an Endorser of the July 18 Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children we would welcome your participation. Endorsers are asked to provide moral, physical and spiritual support, as you are able.
To be listed as an Endorsing Organization, please fill out this short form.
We realize not everyone is able to join in our action at the Capitol, but everyone can participate in your own community. Act NOW by calling the White House to say NO to President Trump’s inhumane policies that separate families and harm children. Call the White House phone number (202) 456-1111 and use this sample script:
"As a person of faith, I am calling today to strongly oppose the Trump Administration’s efforts to hold children in dangerous detention centers, and separate immigrant families at the border and in communities around the country. Family is sacred—it is the cornerstone of our church and our community and must be protected. The Administration’s policies have led to the tragic deaths of seven children and are traumatizing a whole generation of children.
Guided by our Catholic Social Justice values, we affirm the dignity of all people and our call to love our neighbors. Every family deserves stability and security. Families seeking asylum at the border should not be separated, and children in the United States should not live in fear of their parents being taken away from them at any moment.
We call on the Trump Administration to immediately end the unjust and immoral practice of jailing children and separating families."
We will begin our direct action on Thursday with a prayer vigil outdoors and upon entering the Capitol building, we will begin saying a Rosary. At this point, many will be risking arrest, since praying in the Rotunda is against the law. We urge our members and friends who can not be with us in DC to pray with us in your home community, using the same prayer service we will be saying. This act will bring us toegether in solidarity with one another and the children for which we pray.
We have also developed some signs to use as a visual if you are having an public event or direct action in your area. Additionally, if you plan on hosting a direct action or participating in civil disobedience, we have some resources to help you plan and be successful.
These resources are linked below for easy printing.
Our Catholic Coalition has planned a strategic campaign with the goal: to increase the visibility of Catholics willing to take more risks to stop the inhuman treatment of migrant children and to end child detention. The first phase is this prayerful direct action in Washington DC, July 18th. The second phase is a direct action at the border in mid/late-August. The third phase is a direct action in DC and at the border in mid-Sept. There will likely be coordinated weekly actions between these three events.
For updates on the campaign, fill out this form.
Theory of Change
If we increase visibility of Catholics willing to take more risks, it will spark more Catholics and other religious persons to take risk, significantly increase pressure on the government by impacting key sources of power (ex. intangible, authority), and usher in a tipping point to end child detention. This will create more fruitful conditions to challenge family separation.
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Faith in Action & Congregation Action Network
Faith in Public Life
Franciscan Action Network
Ignatian Solidarity Network
Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Pax Christi USA
Sisters of the Good Shepherd National Advocacy Center
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Stuart Center: Society of the Sacred Heart
Peace and all good