End Family Separation Town Hall

End Family Separation
Town Hall

Public outrage over the escalation of anti-immigrant policy in the United States has grown in the last year. Now the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have begun a harsh new practice targeting migrant families. In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that as part of a “zero tolerance policy,” parents and children entering the country would be separated, and the administration has wasted no time putting this cruel policy into practice. Already, hundreds of children have been separated from their parents, who often receive no information about where the children will go. Intended as a deterrent to unauthorized migrants and asylum seekers, this inhumane practice must be judged immoral by all people of conscience.

Due to immigration agencies’ lack of transparency and inconsistent and inaccurate media coverage, the separation of migrant families is not well understood even by people who want to advocate for a more just immigration policy. Recent stories of “missing” migrant children, a situation widely publicized and widely misunderstood, have complicated matters even further.

Fact-based discussion of the assault on migrant families is a necessary foundation for effective community responses. Join us for a TOWN HALL MEETING at First Congregational Church on Thursday, June 14, 6:00PM-7:30PM. Hear the perspective of immigration lawyers and other experts. Bring your questions, and be part of this important community conversation.

First Congregational UCC Church
1407 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
For more information about this event,
please contact Layal Rabat at
(480) 442-9634 or phxrestorationproject@gmail.com

#EndFamilySeparation #FamiliesBelongTogether




End Family Separation

End Family Separation

Declaration of Sanctuary—Faith leaders and community members will welcome Luis Lopez and his family into sanctuary.

Mesa man seeks sanctuary at University Presbyterian Church Community calls for DHS to halt deportation of Luis Lopez-Acabal


Contact: Cyndi Whitmore

Cell: (480) 442-9634 Email: phxrestorationproject@gmail.com

Contact: Erika Andiola

Cell: (480) 278-6843 Email: eandiola@gmail.com

Mesa man seeks sanctuary at University Presbyterian Church

Community calls for DHS to halt deportation of Luis Lopez-Acabal

WHAT: Press Conference – Luis Lopez, Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, and Rev. Eric O. Ledermann will provide statements. Area clergy will offer prayers and blessing for Lopez-Acabal and family.

WHERE: University Presbyterian Church at 139 E. Alameda Dr. • Tempe, AZ 85282-3597

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 4th at 9:30am MST

WHAT: Declaration of Sanctuary—Faith leaders and community members will welcome Luis Lopez and his family into sanctuary.

WHERE: University Presbyterian Church, 139 E. Alameda Dr. Tempe, AZ 85282-3597

WHEN: September 4th, 6:30PM MST

Tempe, AZ: Luis has been in deportation proceedings as a result of a minor traffic incident. On July 7, 2014, his attorney submitted a request for a stay of removal to keep Luis in the United States with his wife and children, but that request has been denied by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), despite matching the agency’s own “low priority” criteria for removal. He now lives under the threat of immediate deportation. At a press conference at 9:30am, Rev. Eric O. Ledermann will discuss his congregation’s call to stand with and support the Lopez-Acabal family so that they may remain together. Luis Lopez’s attorney Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado will provide background on Mr. Lopez-Acabal’s immigration case and the political implications of ICE’s unwillingness to allow Mr. Lopez-Acabal a stay of removal. Luis Lopez-Acabal and his wife Mayra Canales, will offer personal testimony about their circumstances.

At 6:30 PM faith leaders and community advocates will gather to welcome Luis Lopez into Sanctuary at University Presbyterian Church. This is the third church in the last 3 months to open their doors to protect a family under threat of deportation and separation—Rosa Robles Loreto is currently in sanctuary at Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona. Supporters and advocacy organizations are calling on Jon Gurule, the Acting Field Office Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations, Arizona Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to use his discretion to issue a stay of deportation or enact other means to halt Lopez-Acabal’s deportation. Until that time, Luis Lopez will remain in sanctuary at University Presbyterian Church.

Luis Lopez-Acabal fled to the United States from Guatemala as an unaccompanied minor at the age of 16 to escape gang violence, and has been in the US for seven years. He is the husband of Mayra Canales, a legal permanent resident, who has struggled with depression and anxiety for many years. Mr. Lopez has taken in his wife’s two US citizen children, one of whom has autism, as his own, and both of whom consider him their father. Mr. Lopez is the sole breadwinner, which allows his wife Mayra to act as full time caregiver for their autistic son. In addition to his financial support, the emotional support he provides for his wife and children cannot be measured.

The Rev. Eric O. Ledermann, pastor of University Presbyterian Church, says, “A number of texts in both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures command God’s people to welcome the stranger from foreign lands living among them, for God’s people were once strangers in a foreign land.” He further states, “Splitting up families, as the U.S. immigration policies currently are doing, violates the Christian value of family that so many politicians use to bolster their campaigns. As a people of faith we are compelled to intervene and insure that this family will stay together.”

Now in the midst of our broken immigration system, faith communities like University Presbyterian Church feel they must once again demonstrate prophetic leadership and action to keep families together, to keep parents with their children, to protect our brothers and sisters like Luis Lopez, to demand the Obama administration enact affirmative administrative relief through deferred action for all undocumented people.

We are asking Secretary Jeh Johnson and President Obama to grant deferred action for Luis Lopez today. We are also asking the administration to do justice and create the opportunity for the millions who want to stay united with their families through expanding deferred action now.


People of Faith Join in Solidarity to Welcome Marco Tulio into Sanctuary at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ

People of Faith Join in Solidarity to Welcome Marco Tulio into Sanctuary at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ

Wednesday June 25th

6 PM Sanctuary Service to Welcome Marco Tulio

Shadow Rock United Church of Christ
12861 N 8th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85029

For an evening of that expresses our faith through accompaniment and welcome

Background: Marco Tulio, his wife Laura, and his children want to make sure their family stays together and that Marco Tulio does not become one of the over 1,000 people unnecessarily deported each day under the current administration’s policies. Marco Tulio previously had a stay of removal from deportation, but upon applying for renewal, the Immigration Custom Enforcement refused to accept his application, even after numerous attempts.

Sanctuary: Shadow Rock United Church of Christ, with the leadership of Rev. Ken Heintzelman, has decided to invite Marco Tulio into Sanctuary at the Church until ICE ensures Marco can remain together with his family.

Take Action: Please join us for the 6 PM Community Service of Sanctuary for Marco

Updated Donations Info (updated 6/6/14 9:20 am)

Dear community, given the recent news that families are no longer being shipped from Texas to Arizona for drop-offs, WE DO NOT NEED ADDITIONAL DONATIONS AT THIS TIME.

If you would like to support our ongoing outreach to released adult detainees, we do have an ongoing need for international phone cards and non-activated prepaid cell phones and cards (like Tracfone and Straighttalk).

Also please be aware that as we are not a 501c3, WE DO NOT ACCEPT MONETARY DONATIONS.

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your generous support for the hundreds upon hundreds of women and children our community has served over the past ten days- we could not have done it without you!