Immigration Justice

Description

Today, we face the enormous challenges posed by our nation's broken immigration system. Over 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the shadows of our communities across North America. Families face up to decades-long backlogs in acquiring visas, workers are left without protections, and children are left behind as parents are deported. We can no longer delay reform of our immigration system based on streamlined processing, a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and TPS holders, upholding the right to seek asylum, family reunification, just and humane border security, and an end to immigrant detention.

Why Jews Should Care

Welcoming the stranger, or immigrant, is a core part of Jewish tradition, mentioned at least 36 times in the Hebrew Bible. Leviticus commands, “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love them as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (19:33-34). Our own people’s history as “strangers” reminds us of the many struggles faced by immigrants today, and we affirm our commitment to create the same opportunities for today’s immigrants that were so valuable to our own community not so many years ago.

Take Action

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Tell Congress and the Biden Administration to Restore Asylum

Over 2 million asylum seekers have been expelled since the pandemic started. Title 42 used the guise of public health to prevent people from legally seeking refuge in the U.S. Although the CDC announced plans to end the policy, some members of Congress are trying to keep it in place. This has been a stain on American immigration policy for far too long. Tell your Members of Congress to oppose any efforts to reinstate Title 42. It is time to end this unjust policy.

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two United States flags laying next to the seal of the US Citizenship and Immigrations Services

Urge Congress to Provide Permanent Protections for Undocumented Immigrants

It is time for Congress to address the ongoing dysfunction in the U.S. immigration system. Congress must protect all immigrants from deportation – DREAMers, TPS holders, DED recipients, and essential workers serving throughout the pandemic. Urge Congress to protect at-risk immigrants.

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Image with text 'Reform Jews Welcome Immigrants'

RAC Immigrant Justice Social Media Toolkit

The Religious Action Center and the Reform Jewish Movement more broadly have been active on issues of immigrant justice for decades. As we increase the urgency of our work in the face of cruel and inhumane federal immigration policies, we are excited for you to help us amplify our messages. Here are graphics and sample social media messages you can download and share.

Help Welcome Afghan Refugees

We can support those impacted by the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan by helping resettle refugees arriving in the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S., nine recognized refugee resettlement agencies, including HIAS, work with the State Department to welcome new refugees. They are seeking congregations to partner with LIRS, another resettlement agency. LIRS has an expanding list of cities in need.

Find a resettlement affiliate in your community. 
Learn more from HIAS about what’s involved in helping welcome new refugees. 
Canadian congregations can direct sponsor refugees. 

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Refugees welcome written on a piece of paper in a window

Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative Immigrant and Refugee Justice Action Center

Eighty years ago, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus rescued 50 Jewish children from the Nazis. A new initiative, the Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative Immigrant and Refugee Justice Action Center, seeks to galvanize action around the current crisis of immigrants and refugees held in detention and at risk of deportation. Judaism teaches us that everyone is entitled to dignity and honor. In the face of harsh and punitive federal immigration policy, the Reform Movement is mobilizing to advocate for just and compassionate policies toward undocumented immigrants. We will not stop until families are reunited, asylum seekers are no longer treated as criminals, and our immigration system is reformed.

The Kraus initiative: The Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative for Immigrant and Refugee Justice makes our work on ending child detention, deportation defense, and helping protect DACA and DREAMers possible. Learn more about the Kraus Initiative

Deportation Defense: Participating meaningfully in public campaigns to protect individuals from deportation will preserve family unity and provide undocumented immigrants with the support and protection they need to remain safe within the United States. Learn more about our deportation defense strategy.

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)

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Protesters gathered, one holding a sign that says "refugees welcome"

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) was ​established in 1881 to provide rescue and refuge for persecuted and oppressed Jews around the world. HIAS is the international migration agency of the American Jewish community. In recent years, they have directed their efforts to advocate for refugees and immigrants of all backgrounds, guided by Jewish values to help the strangers among us.

Learn more about HIAS →

North American Immigrant Justice Campaign

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This campaign seeks to promote permanent protection, dignity and respect for all 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the USA.

What's New

Parashat Lech L’cha

November 4, 2022
Perhaps my greatest journey has been, and continues to be, my spiritual one. It is not a destination, but a mindset. To be one with God and my loved ones. Today, it is my life’s purpose. I think of the faith I have in God, after being a non-practicing Conservative Jew for more than twenty years, all spurred on by the beauty of Reform Judaism where inclusivity - and even individuality - are at its very core. WRJ has also played a big part in my spiritual journey. No matter where I journey in ‘WRJ-land,” I am home.

Related Press Releases

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Reform Judaism's Resolutions on Immigration Justice

Learn more about the position of the Reform Movement on these key issues, and read the formal resolutions by URJ and CCAR.

View URJ Resolutions View Other Reform Judaism Resolutions

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Engage Your Congregation

Every Voice, Every Vote

The Reform Jewish Movement’s 2022 Every Voice, Every Vote Campaign is a nonpartisan effort, grounded in our Jewish values and commitment to racial justice, to strengthen our democracy by encouraging and protecting voter participation.

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Contact our Legislative Assistants

For more information on this issue, contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Rachel Klein.

Thank you to the Generous Supporters Making this Work Possible

The Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative for Immigrant and Refugee Justice is made possible through generous funding from the Kraus Family Foundation.