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5 ways to stay engaged with immigration and the prison-industrial complex

Making a "Keep Families Together" sign
Photo: Lori Khamala / AFSC

This list was created by Pedro Sosa from their workshop, "U.S. Criminal “Justice” system and the profit of private prison," at AFSC's 2017 Centennial summit. See this list and others from the summit online at Download this list as a PDF here

1.  Learn about immigration.  

Learn about the cause, roots and journey of migration through workshops offered by AFSC. Learn about international policies of the U.S. that affect countries to the south. 

2.  Connect with the immigrant community 

In order to understand how to be an effective ally in the struggle for immigrant justice, it is important to connect with immigrant communities and find out how you can best support their existing efforts. 

  • Find out what immigrant led organizations are doing and support their work. 

  • Show up at immigrant-led events. Learn from immigrants and put your faith into action! 

  • Be part of rapid response team to support the immigrant community. 

  • Talk with organizations to find out if there are holes in services or funding for the immigrant community. 

3.  Help those in detention, and divest from private prisons. 

Thousands of immigrants have been separated from their families and detained in private, for-profit detention centers, and the number keeps growing.  Help those who are in detention and oppose the for-profit industry that benefits from this inhumane treatment of immigrants in the United States. 

 4.  Visit the border 

The U.S./Mexico border is a region in need of prayerful action and attention.  Thousands of migrants lose their lives every year making the journey to the U.S., and the region is becoming increasingly militarized.  Join with your congregation to bring a message of peace to the region. 

  • Learn about issues surrounding immigration over the U.S./Mexico border with your meeting/church community. 

  • Organize a trip to volunteer and visit the border region. 

5.  Advocate for humane reform 

Join in the immigration debate as policy makers shape bills to reform our current system and make the case for humane immigration policy that respects the rights of all people. 

  • Write a Letter to the Editor and pay attention to how the media portrays immigrants. 

  • Engage educators on immigration and share resources for young people. 

  • Plan or attend town hall meetings; ask your faith leaders to speak about the moral imperative of welcoming the stranger. 

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