Racial/Immigration Justice

Policy Statement

The immigration system in the United States is cumbersome and highly discriminatory, in need of reform. It is fundamental to our faith that we extend the boldest of welcome to strangers.The United States is a nation of immigrants and that the strength of our society is rooted in welcoming immigrants. We devote ourselves to creating and changing laws to reflect the principles of welcome. We also are mindful that white supremacy is endemic to our history, infuses our culture, and shapes societal structures. We must educate ourselves about that history and seek to change policies and laws which perpetuate racism.

Local Legislation

New York City: November 22 to December 4. Please join the Interfaith Center of New York, the New York Board of Rabbis, the New York State Council of Churches and many others in collecting clothing including warm coats for Afghan refugees. During this Thanksgiving Season, we could not think of a better way to offer thanks than to offer a warm hospitality to our Afghan brothers and sister who escaped a war torn country to settle in the United States. Click on Afghan Women Project - United Together Flyer for more information about items we are collecting and where they can be dropped off.

State Legislation

SCAR Act
Health Care for Immigrants
Access to Driver’s Licenses (Green Light Law)

Excluded Worker Fund:

The 2021 legislature approved approximately 2 billion dollars for the excluded worker fund. The state is now in the process of distributing the money which has been challenging depending on a person’s circumstance or in parts of the state which are not as efficiently equipped to distribute this kind of aid.

Implementation of the program has been uneven as reported here in the Albany Times Union. The fund is quickly being exhausted, click here for more information and to apply.


Federal Legislation

Assistance in Afghanistan Immigrants and Refugees

In Afghanistan, the United States evacuated, with the help of the military, evacuated American personnel and Afghans who assisted the American cause. Now that United States military has left, there is still in Afghanistan a humanitarian crisis and private groups are still working to continue evacuation. New York State Council of Churches held a state forum with Lauren Homer who described the situation. https://youtu.be/MKzUHgHUt4g

Continued advocacy with the Biden administration is required and here is a letter which was sent to him on outlining further steps to be taken.

We are now working with Church World Service who is organizing a list of organizations by region in New York with whom congregations can work to resettle Afghan refugees.  

New York Immigration Coalition describes other initiatives to advocate for immigrants. https://www.nyic.org/our-work/immigrant-rights/

Status of Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA)