From the Worldwide Faith News archives

CWS Ramps Up Immigration Reform Efforts

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Mon, 01 Mar 2010 10:34:48 -0800

Church World Service Ramps Up Immigration Reform Efforts
Tens of Thousands to Come to D.C. to March, Advocate for Humane, Just

NEW YORK, March 1, 2010 -- Drawing on nearly 65 years of direct service
to and advocacy work for refugees, immigrants and other marginalized
communities, Church World Service is ramping up its efforts for
immigration reform, with components including direct service work,
advocacy and grassroots mobilization.

CWS (, a global humanitarian emergency
response, sustainable development and refugee protection agency, is
advocating for reform that keeps families together and enables
undocumented immigrants to earn their legal status and eventual

Building on their work in grassroots communities and the burgeoning
call for immigration reform, Church World Service and other faith-based
organizations are gearing up to bring tens of thousands of people of
faith to Washington, D.C., on March 21 for a 2 p.m. National Mall rally
for immigration reform, March for America: Change Takes Courage and
Faith ( The Rev. John L. McCullough,
Church World Service Executive Director and CEO, will be among speakers.
The March for America coincides with an annual gathering of people of
faith, Ecumenical Advocacy Days (, set for
March 19-22 and  focused on immigration this year.

CWS participation in the March for America and Ecumenical Advocacy Days
is undergirded by the agency's ongoing direct service to immigrants.
Seventeen of Church World Service's 33 local refugee and immigrant
services offices and affiliates provide immigration legal assistance to
thousands of clients each year, and CWS offices and affiliates in
Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Pennsylvania are
providing material and social care to medical evacuees from
earthquake-battered Haiti
( ews_iv_ctrl=1361).

CWS offices and affiliates located near Haitian populations are
assisting Haitians who want to apply for Temporary Protected Status,
extended by the U.S. government shortly after the Jan. 12 earthquake in
Haiti.  TPS allows grantees to live and work in the United States
legally, albeit temporarily, and thus contribute toward relief and
reconstruction in Haiti.

In addition, CWS scheduled special â??Service Speaks: Days of Action
for TPSâ?? ws_iv_ctrl=1361
and Citizenship Drives in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia and
Connecticut in mid-February and early March to point to the need for
lasting solutions (  through
comprehensive immigration reform.

The Service Speaks: Days of Action for TPS are also among nearly 100
events happening across the country throughout February and into March
as part of â??Together, Not Torn: Families Canâ??t Wait for  Immigration
Reform,â?? a nationwide mobilization of people of faith standing up  for
families who are being torn apart by this countryâ??s broken system  and
immigration reform that keeps them together.  â??Together, not Tornâ ??
also includes the delivery of hundreds of thousands of pro-reform
postcards to members of Congress.

Church World Service has also hired field staff in Minnesota, Ohio, and
South Carolina and a national grassroots coordinator to mobilize people
of faith in states that are key to the legislative future of reform.
These organizers will connect direct immigration service providers,
clergy and members of congregations of CWS member communions, and other
ecumenical, interfaith and secular CWS partners in their advocacy for
fair, humane immigration reform.

"We are calling for reform now because our nation's broken
immigration system is causing millions of people to suffer," said the
Rev. McCullough.  "Every day, our agency helps immigrants frustrated
at how long it takes to be reunited with family members.  We witness
whole communities living in fear of indiscriminate raids or arrest by
local police.  And we see parents who risk their lives to seek work here
rather than watch their children die of starvation.  They ensure their
children's survival back home, but miss seeing them grow up."

Media Contacts

Lesley Crosson, 212-280-2676,
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526,

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home