Advocacy update, July 20, 2021

Advocacy update, July 20, 2021

Advocacy update, July 20, 2021 750 422 Episcopalians in Connection

Town Hall Meetings on Ohio Redistricting

Next week, All on the Line Ohio is holding in-person Town Hall meetings on Ohio’s redistricting process in Cincinnati on July 27 and Dayton on July 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. Both meetings give an update on the new rules and process for drawing Congressional and state districts, and how you can get involved to help ensure the outcome is fair to all voters. Register here

Workshop in Support of the For the People Act

A Letter to the Editor Zoom Workshop will be held from 5:30-6:30 p.m. this Wednesday, July 21, hosted by Common Cause Ohio.  This major legislation to protect voting rights, reform campaign finance, and strengthen government ethics has been passed by the House of Representatives and is stalled in the Senate. It is endorsed by the Episcopal Public Policy Network.  Sign up for the workshop here

Episcopal Public Policy Network alert: Give DACA Recipients a Pathway to Legal Status

On July 16, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a ruling stating that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful. The program, which the Obama administration created through executive action in 2012, provided certain undocumented individuals who arrived to the country as children with a renewable temporary status that protected them from deportation and allowed them to work in the United States. Although litigation contesting the Trump administration’s decision to terminate the program in September 2017 successfully kept the program alive, a May 2018 lawsuit filed by several attorneys general challenging the program’s legality resulted in last week’s decision. Given that efforts to pass protections for DACA recipients and Dreamers have stalled in the Senate, The Episcopal Public Policy Network has drafted a sample message for you and urges you to contact your Senator to pass legislation to protect DACA recipients and Dreamers. Take Action

The court’s decision leaves DACA recipients and applicants in a vulnerable position. Although the ruling allows the more than 600,000 individuals with DACA status to keep and renew their status, the decision keeps them in limbo. As it stands, DACA recipients cannot access a green card nor apply for citizenship. Furthermore, the decision prohibits the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from issuing this status to new applicants, including at least 50,000 individuals whose submitted applications are under review by DHS. Finally, the decision abruptly prevents eligible individuals who have not applied from seeking protection through the program.

The Biden administration will appeal the ruling, but Congress should take action to provide permanent protection. In March, the House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (H.R. 6) to provide a pathway to legal status for DACA recipients and Dreamers. The Dream Act of 2021 (S.264) was introduced in the Senate in February. Finally, Senate Democrats have included a provision legalizing undocumented immigrants — including Dreamers — in their budget reconciliation bill.

Passing the bill aligns with The Episcopal Church’s longstanding commitment to protecting Dreamers. The Church has advocated for passing the Dream Act since 2012 when it called on Congress to pass “federal legislation that presents a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth and young adults.” Polls also consistently show that Americans across the political spectrum support providing Dreamers like DACA recipients with a pathway to citizenship, showing that passing one of these bills would garner public support across the country.

We call on our community to contact their members of Congress to rise to the urgency of the moment and protect individuals who have called this country their home their whole lives.

Episcopal Church Resolutions
2012-D067: Support the Dream Act
2018-C033: Denounce Racism Against Immigrants and Advocate for Immigration Reform

Advocacy briefings are compiled by Ariel Miller, a member of Ascension & Holy Trinity, Wyoming, and a member of the diocesan Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team.