Through its Peace & Social Justice Committee, Bethesda Friends Meeting offers educational materials and opportunities for involvement in U.S. immigration reform. In November 2009, BFM joined with two other area congregations to sponsor a community forum on immigration reform. The forum featured presentations by representatives from two local organizations, CASA of Maryland and Identity, which provide services to and advocate on behalf of the immigration community. Also speaking were policy analysts from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. Click here immigration_reform.mp3 (67 MB, 72 minutes audio) to hear the remarks of the forum panelists.
Local Quaker Meetings are working with the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform in 2010. In coalition with other faith-based groups, FCNL has articulated an interfaith platform for humane immigration reform Interfaith_Platform.pdf
If you want to be involved in future P&SJ activities around immigration reform, contact committee co-clerk Tom Walker or Liz Hofmeister. (See the BFM Directory for contact information)
Resources on Immigration Policy and Reform
Local Groups providing social support and advocating for immigrants:
- American Immigration Council
AIC is one of the foremost experts in immigration law, policy, education, and exchange programs. It has broad involvement in shaping immigration policy.
- Immigration Policy Center
IPC provides state-by-state fact sheets on impact of immigration and discussion papers on major immigration issues.
- Friends Committee on National Legislation
FCNL is the lobbying arm of the Quakers. The group provides position papers and other information on immigration as well as other major national issues.
- Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm. It is known for tolerance education programs, legal victories against white supremacists, and tracking of hate groups including those targeting immigrants.
- CASA of Maryland
CASA is the largest immigrant advocacy group in Maryland. Of special interest on its website is a recent report titled New Americans Initiative.
- Identity, Inc.
Based in Gaithersburg, MD, Identity works with Latino youth and their families providing programs that help remove barriers to success.
- National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Composed of local coalitions and immigrant, refugee, community, religious, civil rights and labor organizations, NNIRR serves as a forum to share information and analysis, to educate communities and the general public, and to develop and coordinate plans of action on important immigrant and refugee issues.