Tag Archives: Immigration
Chinese dragon for New Years

Moments of Shared Celebration

Today is Rosh Chodesh Adar (chodesh tov!) and Chinese New Year (xin nian kuai le!). We should never lose sight of our responsibilities to and our place in the global community, but when these celebratory days coincide, we are reminded even more of how important it is to find opportunities for dialogue and connection. Two RAC staffers reflect on Chinese-Jewish relations, and how meaningful this relationship is. Read more…

Rolling Back Progress on Immigration Reform

The 113th Congress started with high hopes of Democrats and Republicans coming together to reform our broken immigration system, with a comprehensive bill that stalled in the House. This new Congress is stuck over reforms that have already been made. This week promises to be pivotal in the fight over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration in Congress and the courts: both the 2012 action that created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the action in November 2014 that created Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). Read more…

Congress Tries to Pass Some Unwelcoming Legislation

Buoyed by a new session, Congress has been busy taking up legislation on immigration reform. Yet unfortunately, that “reform” has just meant going back to the old ways of doing things, when no undocumented immigrants were protected from deportation and our border communities lived in fear of government officials. Read more…

President Obama at the State of the Union 2014

#SOTU Preview

On Tuesday night, the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House of Representatives will stand on the floor of the House chamber and announce to the assembled Members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet members, an array of guests in the gallery (including the First Lady and Dr. Biden) and millions of the American people watching live, “Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States!” This now-iconic declaration opens the State of the Union ceremony, as the President ascends the dais, hands copies of his speech to the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, and begins his address. Read more…

The Immigration Theater

I was able to spend a couple hours today watching C-SPAN, which, I’ll admit, may not sound very exciting. Yet, I was able to witness a fascinating piece of political theatre that had me at times depressed, at times hopeful and often on the edge of my seat. The stage had been set in the last Congress, when during Congress’s budget bill, Republicans delayed looking at funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This delay is why the bill was known as the CRomnibus, because it funded DHS on previously agreed-to levels (the Continuing Resolution, or CR, part), and set new funding levels for the rest of the government. Read more…

Over the Border, but Not Out of the Woods

In all of the excitement over President Obama’s executive action on immigration, we haven’t been hearing much about the plight of unaccompanied children coming to the U.S.-Mexico border, which experienced a notable uptick this summer. Yet, there have been a few new developments: Read more…

Luis Lopez Acabal, Mayra Canales, and daughter Kim

Rabbis Organizing Rabbis: Luis Goes Home for the Holidays

By Rabbi Esther Lederman

Courage. Tenacity. Faith. These are the traits of the Jewish people that we honor during Hanukkah. And they’re what I’ve seen this week too.Many Reform rabbis called Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Aseret Yemei Teshuva to urge them to stop Luis Lopez Acabal’s deportation. Over the last two days, I spent hours with Luis’s wife, Mayra Canales, and the pastor who is providing him sanctuary in his church, Rev. Eric Ledermann. Together we met with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials and the legislative director for their House Representative, Kyrsten Sinema. Our calls helped make these meetings possible! When Rev. Ledermann and Mayra thanked me for our contributions to their efforts, I felt incredibly proud to represent the Reform rabbinate.

Read more…

Turkey Thanksgiving

My Family’s Immigration Story: Something to be Thankful For

By Debbie Rabinovich

Do you really celebrate Thanksgiving? When I was younger, I remember being asked this question. I remember not knowing how to answer. My family had Thanksgiving dinner every year- complete with dry turkey and mysterious stuffing. We went around saying nice things to each other. That was Thanksgiving, right?

Looking back, I realize how strange that question was. I had classmates who had heard me talking about going to Peru and speaking in Spanish and they had taken it upon themselves to figure out that my family wasn’t American enough for Thanksgiving. But here’s my point of view: if it makes sense for anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s families like mine. Families of immigrants.

Read more…