Visit our website at

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nov. 1 Day of the Dead Action

Read the Philadelphia Inquirer's coverage of our Day of the Dead procession calling for the end of fear and the end of the PARS contract.

Pro-Immigrant Protest Hit's City Hall

Friday, October 8, 2010

Preview auction items for "Immigration, Art, and Action" special event online now

Take a look at some of the first items donated for the silent auction that will be part of our fundraising special event on Sat. Oct 23rd! You'll find photos and brief descriptions at

...Art... Books... Locally grown food... More!

We'll be updating the items shown there in the coming days, so check back soon. Remember to buy your tickets in advance via PayPal on the New Sanctuary website at


Papel Amate -- 1980s Nahua painting from Mexico
Mill Creek Farm - Honey, T-shirt, and Ticket

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Demonstrators at York County Prison want detained Cambodian-Americans released


Ana Cruz is nine months pregnant, but her husband, Chally Dang, probably won't be there for the birth.

Dang and several other members of their Philadelphia Cambodian community are being detained at York County Prison for possible deportation as part of a roundup of immigrants with criminal records.

Although Dang, now 28, came legally to the United States from Cambodia as a permanent resident, he was convicted of aggravated assault at age 15 and served time in prison. Under U.S. law, that conviction can affect his immigration status.

But since then he's become a father, a husband and a productive member of society, Cruz said. That's what brought a group of at least 30 members of Dang's community to York County Prison on Friday to protest his detention.

"I'm afraid," Cruz said, one hand resting on her pregnant belly. "Right now, it's just a waiting game. No one tells you how long it's going to take."

Dang and the others detained this week were summoned to the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office for what they believed was a routine visit, said Raymond Ros, one of the protest's organizers. They were shocked to hear that they would be deported, he said.

All of them have served time in prison, Ros said, but those charges were in their youth. With permanent resident status, they all have jobs, take care of families and pay taxes like a citizen, he said. Dang has worked as a truck driver since he was released.

"Basically we're just trying to send a message that this is unlawful and inhumane," Ros said. "We want to ask them to look at the cases individually and look at what these people have been doing."

Mark Medvesky, an ICE spokesman, said the men were detained because either they were seen as "a threat to public safety or they would not leave the country as ordered." Medvesky would not comment on when the men were scheduled to be deported.

Members of the crowd outside the prison drove two hours from Philadelphia to express their support for the detained. Many carried young children, several belonging to the men inside the prison.

Savon Youk of Philadelphia brought his two teenage daughters wearing T-shirts that read "Free My Uncles." Youk's brother-in-law Mout Iv was one of the men facing deportation.

Iv was convicted of a crime when he was young, but he owns a barbershop now, Youk said. If he's deported, he will have to leave his 3-month-old child, he said.

"I heard about the United States of America as a place of freedom, democracy, free speech, human rights," he said. "But when they did this to them, it is not democracy. It's not human rights

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

1st Annual "Immigration, Art, and Action" fundraising event for Philadelphia New Sanctuary!

On Saturday, October 23,  the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia will hold our 1st Annual “Immigration, Art and Action” fundraising event featuring....
  • live musical performances of regional artists including InMotion, one of the hottest Indonesian bands in Philadelphia, and an Ecuadorian dance group
  • a fabulous silent auction, including gift certificates to local restaurants, autographed books, handmade items, and special art donations by Philly artists/activists Harvey Finkle, Joe Brenman, and others 
  • great refreshments!
 Join us on Oct 23rd from 7pm to 10pm in South Philly at the Philadelphia Praise Center / 1701 Mckean St., Philadelphia PA 19145-2913. (map)
    All proceeds from entrance fees and the auction will support our New Sanctuary Movement’s "Community Leadership Training Program" of ongoing workshops to cultivate leadership from within affected immigrant communities in Philadelphia.

    Pay at the door or purchase tickets in advance via PayPal through the New Sanctuary Movement website

    Individual tickets are $15. Family tickets (2 parents and children under 16) are $30. Super booster tickets (individual or family) are $50 for those who want to donate more.

    More information: call 215-756-6445 or visit

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Smoke and Mirrors: FOIA Reveals ICE Deception in Secure Communities Program

    "ICE has always represented to the public that participation in Secure Communities is predicated on a formal agreement between ICE and each state. But in a December 2008 Secure Communities weekly report, ICE admits to negotiating with Pennsylvania to proceed with implementation without requiring the state to sign an agreement and without having notice of a database “hit” go to local agencies. Effectively this means that the program was secretly imposed in Pennsylvania and operated for months before local communities even became aware of it.  ICE further notes in the weekly report that it will be pursuing this same approach in other states.  And the stealth character of the operation is no insignificant detail. Though the program is going on its third year, ICE has never issued regulations or guidelines for its operation.  Indeed, written agreements with the state serve as the only formalization of a program that entangles local police in immigration enforcement and endangers community safety."

    No One Is "Illegal"

    by Jim Wallis

    Over 500 activists and faith leaders gather in Washington DC to call on Congress to act on immigration reform.

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Immigration Action Grants Available

    Apply for resources to help your community advocate for immigration reform!  CWS is offering local faith communities and service providers across the country  the opportunity to apply for Action Grants of up to $1,000 to support events and organizing focused on mobilizing opposition to state anti-immigrant measures and urging members of Congress to take leadership in enacting bipartisan federal immigration reform. Grants are limited so please apply soon. 

    For more information and to download the grant application form, go to

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    NSM Philadelphia to receive Human Rights Award

    Congratulations! New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia will receive a 2010 Human Rights Award from the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations! NSM was nominated for the award by Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert, a Commissioner of the PCHR.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Immigration Bait and Switch -- NYT editorial on Secure Communities

    We recommend the Aug 17th New York Times editorial about Secure Communities, which summarizes data on arrest and deportation statistics obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.  The editorial reports that the records, covering the program from its inception in October 2008 through June 2010, "lend disturbing credence to fears voiced by immigrant advocates and some law-enforcement officials." 

    Read the entire editorial here:  Immigration Bait and Switch (NYT - Aug 17, 2010)

    Brief excerpt below:
    The Immigration and Customs Enforcement records show that a vast majority, 79 percent, of people deported under Secure Communities had no criminal records or had been picked up for low-level offenses, like traffic violations and juvenile mischief. Of the approximately 47,000 people deported in that period only about 20 percent had been charged with or convicted of serious “Level 1” crimes, like assault and drug dealing. 

    The national average of Secure Communities deportees with no criminal records was about 26 percent, but that figure also varied wildly around the country. It was 54 percent in Maricopa County, Ariz., whose sheriff is notorious for staging indiscriminate immigration raids. In Travis County, Tex., it was 82 percent.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Phillies - AZ Diamondbacks game

    Planning when to unveil the banner....

    Good work!

    Friendly pro-immigrant supporter joins in outside the stadium

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Immigration Debate Comes to South Philly

    Check out this video footage as New Sanctuary Movement and other immigrant rights advocates gather in opposition to Genos fundraiser for Arizona.

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    New Sanctuary Movement Featured on Fox

    New Sanctuary Movement was featured on Fox 29 10 o'clock news on June 30th. Click below to view report and interview with NSM coordinator Peter Pedemonti.

    ICE Agreement with the City: Should it End? 

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia to bar immigration agents from arrest data

    Philadelphia to bar immigration agents from arrest data

    Philadelphia is expected to end the arrangement that permits federal immigration agents to scrutinize the city's computerized list of arrests, including country of origin and other data, Everett Gillison, the deputy mayor for public safety, said Sunday.

    Immigrant advocates say the year-old agreement between the city and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service, known as ICE, has resulted in deportation proceedings against immigrants arrested on even minor charges. Under the agreement, ICE agents can routinely access the city's Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System (PARS). That agreement is up for renewal on Thursday.

    "It is the mayor's view that the PARS agreement should not be extended," Gillison said, speaking at a South Philadelphia church meeting attended by more than 300 immigrants and their supporters.

    He said there would be a formal announcement of the city's position in the coming week, probably on Friday.

    Mayor Nutter has expressed concern about the human rights of all immigrants, regardless of their legal status.

    In a directive he issued a year ago, he barred municipal employees on official business from inquiring about the immigration status of any person, including, but not limited to, victims, witnesses, arrestees, and detainees.

    Gillison said Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and District Attorney Seth Williams "agree with the mayor" that the ICE-PARS arrangement should be terminated.

    His announcement, which followed an hour of public testimony from immigrants about their fears and mistrust of the police, drew chants of Si, se puede! - Yes, we can! - from a mostly Latino audience that also included members of the city's Asian communities and a contingent of suburban supporters from the Central Baptist Church of Wayne.

    Organized by a coalition of proimmigrant groups, including Juntos and the New Sanctuary Movement, the standing-room-only meeting took place in the basement of Annunciation Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary on South 10th Street. It was conducted mostly in Spanish, with electronic headsets available to permit simultaneous translation into English.

    In addition to Gillison, officials in attendance included City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez; Police Capt. Michael Weaver, commander of the immigrant-rich Third District in South Philadelphia; and Leslie Davila, assistant director of Victims' Services, who represented the District Attorney's Office but who left before the end of the meeting without addressing the group.

    Because Williams did not attend, someone had filled the seat reserved for him with a large cardboard cutout of the district attorney's face.

    "This is about human rights. It's about civil rights," Sánchez said. "And I am very, very encouraged by [the administration's] movement around PARS."

    Some of the speakers who provided testimony about their encounters with police used their real names. Others used pseudonyms. They spoke from a lectern decorated with a poster that said, "Public Safety Now."

    One man, who gave his name as Ignacio Aguirre, described the arrest of his son. He said the boy had been at the beach, where he used a knife to cut a watermelon. He put the knife into a backpack. Several days later, without thinking about it, he took the backpack to school and tripped a metal detector. It was an innocent mistake, the man said, but it resulted in a visit from ICE and house arrest with an ankle bracelet for his child.

    He did not elaborate on the status of the case but said, "Now I'm afraid to call the police for anything."

    Guadalupe Hernandez said she came to the United States from Mexico in 1996 to escape domestic abuse. She said her 16-year-old son was arrested in Philadelphia in 2007 while trying to stop a drunk friend from slashing car tires on Dickinson Street.

    "My son tried to take the knife away," she said, but when police arrived, he found himself arrested "as an accomplice."

    Although the boy eventually was exonerated, she said, "ICE wants to deport him."

    Mark Medvesky, a spokesman for ICE in Philadelphia, said he could not comment in detail about the city's intentions regarding PARS until it took formal action.

    But he did say, "Our priority is convicted criminal aliens, getting dangerous people off the street. That's one of the reasons we wanted access to PARS."

    For full article and video clip visit

    WHYY - Philadelphia may stop sending arrest info to ICE

    Philadelphia may stop sending arrest info to ICE

    Monday, June 28th, 2010

    By: Susan Phillips

    Philadelphia's immigrant community wants the city to end a program that gives federal immigration authorities information about arrested people. City officials will be voting on whether to renew the policy later this week.

    Immigrant advocates say the year-long practice of handing over information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents breeds fear of the police. Currently, the information on a person's immigration status is transferred electronically at booking, regardless of whether the person is later brought to trial or found guilty.

    Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison says the practice has intimidated victims and witnesses from immigrant communities, preventing them from reporting crimes.

    "The Mayor's very worried about the fact that there seems to be a chilling effect. And the people in the community feel the police are using this and using this particular access to support immigration checks."

    Gillison says he'd rather rely on the same information being channelled to immigration authorities through the state after a person has been convicted of a crime.

    But the Mayor is only one of four votes. District Attorney Seth Williams says he hasn't made up his mind. The remaining votes come from the Municipal Court and the police department.

    For original article, visit WHYY's blog

    Philadelphia Weekly - Immigrant Groups Call for End of Police Cooperation with ICE

    Immigrant Groups Call For End of Police Cooperation with ICE

    June 28, 2010 by Aaron Kase

    Mexico played Argentina in the World Cup elimination round yesterday, but many Philadelphia residents native to Mexico had more important things on their mind. More than 300 people, including a large number of Mexican immigrants, attended a public forum on immigrant rights yesterday afternoon, organized by the New Sanctuary Movement and other advocacy groups at the Annunciation B.V.M. Catholic Church in South Philadelphia.

    The groups are asking for an end to collaboration between the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    The meeting was conducted mostly in Spanish, with translation offered in English and Indonesian. Speakers took the stage to recount stories of friends and family delivered to immigration officials by the police, from immigrants who were stopped while driving, those who were questioned as witnesses to other crimes and a child who was arrested at school.

    The conclusion of all speakers was that they no longer trust the PPD and are not comfortable approaching the police under any circumstances, even if witness or victim to a crime.

    The PPD and ICE officially collaborate in two ways: The police give ICE access to the Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System (PARS), which lists the nationality of people in police custody. Furthermore, the federal Secure Communities program provides ICE finger-prints of anyone arrested by the police.

    There have also been allegations of joint sting operations between ICE and the police, although these were not addressed at the meeting. Last November Mayor Nutter issued executive order 8-09 barring police and other city officials from asking anyone’s immigration status except in cases required by law.

    The centerpiece of yesterday’s forum was a giant petition in Spanish and English calling for an end to police and ICE collaboration. In order to foster better relations with the police, the petition requested four changes:

    • The city should not renew its agreement with ICE that grants the feds access to the PARS database.
    • The city should reject the “Secure Communities” initiative.
    • All city employers should sign the mayor’s directive 8-09.
    • Directive 8-09 should be increased in scope to bar city employees from contacting ICE.

    Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison and other city officials were in attendance, while District Attorney Seth Williams was invited, but did not show up. Instead, there was a blown-up cardboard cutout of the DA’s already considerably sized noggin.

    The crowd chanted for Gillison to sign the petition in a space provided for him, but he declined, saying he was not permitted because the city was not in agreement on all points.

    However, Gillison did say it was the mayor and other officials’ view that the PARS agreement should not be extended and they expect to make an official announcement shortly.
    “The city’s view is that the police do not do federal immigration work. It is not their job to do. Period,” Gillison said.

    However, he pointed out that the Secure Communities program is a federal mandate. The police are required by law to supply information to the state, which in turn has to deliver it to federal immigration officials.

    “The bottom line is it’s a national issue we have to address,” said Gillison, recommending that the groups agitate President Obama and Congress on the issue.

    “It is fear that kills, it is fear that makes us cowards,” Gillison said, telling the communities that they must not be afraid to engage with the police despite their negative interactions in the past. He mentioned that the only way for the city to find and reprimand officers who violate directive 8-09 is if the community reports them.

    Seventh District Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez attended the forum and promised to continue pressing the city on immigrant rights. “We don’t want anybody to live in fear,” she said.

    South Philadelphia’s Third Police District Captain Michael Weaver also spoke briefly, pledging to meet with community leadership to improve public safety.

    By the time the meeting let out, Mexico had lost to Argentina 3-1, but disappointed expatriates could take some comfort in what they view as positive movement from the mayor’s office to end the PARS agreement.

    For original article, visit Philadelphia Weekly's blog

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    'Return to El Salvador' Philly/ Festival Premiere

    Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010
    Time: 8:00pm - 9:30pm
    Location: The Ritz East: 125 South 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19106

    The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival presents the Philadelphia and Festival premiere of 'Return to El Salvador', narrated by Martin Sheen and directed by local film maker Jamie Moffett this Thursday, June 24th 8pm at the Ritz East. Q&A after the film with the director, producers and featured interviewees.
    Join us for the after party at The RUBA Club: 414 Green Street

    Tickets $10 at the door or online:

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Volunteer to help at Community Forum on June 27th

    As allies, friends, and neighbors,  we have been asked to support the Community Forum (see details in previous post) by showing up for the event -- and also by providing volunteer support for several specific task.  Can you and members of your faith community help?

    Here are the needs that have been identified:

    Saturday 6/26 -- 10 to 15 volunteers for set up crew at Annunciation (probably early afternoon -- exact time TBA)

       * arrange tables and chairs in the meeting space
       * hang up large banners for the platform
       * make signs to place outside the building on Sunday
       * tape together all the pages of the petitions to display at the forum

    Sunday 6/27 -- multiple volunteers designated with "official" name tags (need to come early at 1:00pm for the 2pm start)

       * Greeters outside the building to welcome people arriving -- 4 volunteers
       * Sign-in table at entrance -- 5 volunteers
       * Ushers to help manage seating (and set up extra chairs as needed) -- 5 volunteers
       * Helpers for the water station -- 2 volunteers
       * Childcare helpers -- 4 volunteers
       * Clean up crew after the forum -- 10 volunteers

    We hope our New Sanctuary allies will be able to help in these concrete ways!  If your community can provide volunteers, please send a reply to and we will be in touch to work out details.

    Call to Action!

    Community Forum to Stop Police/ ICE
    Collaboration in Philadelphia!

    Sunday June 27th, 2:00 pm at
    Annunciation B.V.M. Church
    on the corner of 10th and Dickinson

    Join us, as community leaders from North and South Philadelphia share personal testimony about how Police/ ICE collaboration are impacting hard working families and compromising the safety of our city. Our goal is to have 400 supporters at this event. Come out and show your support.

    For more information or to R.S.V.P. contact us at

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    May 26 From Philly to Phoenix, Just Immigration Reform NOW

    Rally in front of the Constitution Center
    gather at 5th and Market at 11:30 am
    followed by a march through center city.
    Come to call for an executive order from Obama to reverse SB 1070. Call for the end of all collaborations between the police and ICE. And demand leadership from the federal government to move comprehensive immigration reform, before things get worse.
    Since last month’s passage of Arizona’s law, SB 1070, criminalizing immigrants and creating state sanctioned racial profiling, ten other states have introduced similar anti-immigrant legislation, including PA, where Sen. Metcalfe has introduced the HB 2479.
    Simultaneously, policies such as Secure Communities, that encourage police and ICE collaboration, are spreading across the country, and is happening here in Philadelphia, under the radar. As grassroots and political pressure mounts for action and leadership on immigration reform, Arizona has shown Congress and the nation, the time to act is now! 
    We are facing a critical moment in the course of history, not unlike the abolition movement, or the civil rights movement. Arizona SB 1070 is a regression in the fight for the civil rights and dignity of all. We must respond!

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Coalition Meeting / Reunion de Coalición

    en espanol abajo...
    New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia
    Coalition Meeting-
    The Time to Act is Now
    Thursday, May 13 @ 7pm
    Visitation BVM Church, 300 E. Lehigh Ave in the school basement

    The time to act is NOW!  It is time to respond to the recent law in Arizona, SB 1070, the introduction of anti-immigrant legislation in the PA legislature, and building momentum around our local campaign to end collaboration between police and ICE.  Come to discuss and practice how to talk about all these issues.  We will discuss our message and then role play how to talk about the issue with different audiences.
    In Peace and Solidarity,
    Peter and Jen 

    Nuevo Movimiento Santuario de Filadelfia
    Reunión de Coalición - el tiempo para actuar es ahora!
    el jueves13 de mayo a las 7pm
    Iglesia Visitación, Calle Lehigh # 300 en el sótano de la escuela

    El tiempo para actuar es AHORA!  Es el tiempo de responder a la ley de Arizona, SB 1070, la introducción de una ley contra inmigrantes en el congreso de Pennsylvania, y aumentar la atención sobre nuestra campaña local para terminar la colaboración entre la policia y la migra.  Venga para discutir y practicar como hablar sobre estos temas. Nosotros discutiremos nuestro mensaje y prácticaremos con dramas sobre como hablar a diferentes audiencias. 
    En Paz y Solidaridad,
    Peter and Jen

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    "Secure Communities" in Philadelphia

    Our campaign to end collaborations between Philadelphia police and I.C.E. is featured on the "Uncover the Truth" website. Read the full article at

    This video highlights one of the powerful, first-person stories from our Philadelphia community, shared by one of the participants in the Philadelphia Storytelling project.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Immigration Rally @ Sen Casey's office 10am on Thurs May 6th

    Today, with the introduction of Rep. Medcalfe's HB 2479, Pennsylvania joins the lists of states attempting to replicate Arizona style anti- immigrant legislation.   Quite simply, congressional inaction has created a void, allowing state representatives to propose hateful policies.  We cannot allow this to continue. 

    Please join us this Thursday, at 10 AM, as we rally at Sen. Casey's office (2000 Market St) and demand that he protect Pennsylvania from wrongheaded policies by showing leadership in Congress to pass fair, humane, and practical comprehensive immigration reform this year. 
    The 10 AM rally at Sen. Casey's office (2000 Market) will be followed by a march down Market Street to Love Park, where faith leaders will join with the Mayor's National Day of Prayer event, to offer prayers on behalf of immigration reform.  Bring posters, American flags, noisemakers, and as many people as possible with you -- together, we must send a strong message that we will not stand by and let our state follow in the footsteps of Arizona.

    Rep. Medcalfe's proposal is exactly the wrong approach to our broken immigration system, because it will strain law enforcement to the breaking point, will undoubtedly lead to racial profiling, and will inevitably lead to lawsuits that cost the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.  Instead, we need reform that will help our economy while creating jobs, protect our workers, create a fair and practical path to citizenship, and make us safer with smarter enforcement.

    One more thing:
    Today!  Call President Obama.  Let him know about the introduction of this bill in PA, and tell him you are counting on him to deliver on his promise to pass immigration reform this year. 
    Toll Free Numbers:  English line: 866-956-8590  Spanish line: 866-584-3906
    RSVP for Thursdays rally:

    Friday, April 30, 2010

    Public Radio International features Philadelphia New Sanctuary in report on immigration issues

    Listen to this brief audio clip from today's PRI "The World" segment on immigration enforcement issues and Secure Communities.

    The report features challenges by immigration activists to local-federal law enforcement collaboration on immigration enforcement under the "Secure Communities" program of Homeland Security.

    Highlights include the story of a Philadelphia high school student and family from El Salvador, plus comments by Jen Rock of Philadelphia New Sanctuary Movement.

    Thursday, April 29, 2010


    Washington DC, Today a six page internal memo from Immigration and Customs Enforcement was leaked to the press. The memo contains ICE's media strategy in response to rights groups' "Uncovering the Truth on ICE and Police Collaboration" campaign—a week long effort of rallies and press conferences in 14 cities to denounce the dangerous and disastrous police-ICE partnerships that led to the human rights crisis in Arizona. The week of advocacy was launched on Tuesday in conjunction with a FOIA lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Immigration Justice Clinic of Benjamin Cardozo School of Law to demand records relating to the Secure Communities program.
    The memo included targeted op-eds in "major newspapers in the right cities where protests are planned."  On the day of the launch John Morton, director ICE placed op-eds in Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, and Morristown, New Jersey—sites of the campaign.
    The following is a statement of Sarahi Uribe, organizer with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and national coordinator of the "Uncover The Truth" campaign: 
    "It is deeply disturbing that Immigration and Customs Enforcement responds to our simple request for truth and accountability with an aggressive strategy for spin and deception. At a time when its clear that the federal government's irresponsibility gave rise to the crisis in Arizona, rights groups now feel under attack for demanding basic answers from our government."
    For a copy of the memo and listings of local events visit:

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Uncovering the Truth about Police and ICE Collaboration

    Check out the website at to find information about special actions happening this week aimed at “Uncovering the Truth on Police and ICE Collaboration.”

    NSM of Philadelphia -- as well as many other national and local immigrant rights, criminal justice and social justice groups throughout the country -- will be featured in stories and photos.

    The “Uncovering the Truth” week of activities is intended to be a coordinated effort to get local groups asking questions about police and ICE collaboration in their communities, and to get lawmakers in Congress focused on holding the Department of Homeland Security accountable.

    Deportation programs like the Department of Homeland Security’s misnamed “Secure Communities” program are set to be in every U.S jail by 2013 without the public, elected officials, and sometimes police chiefs themselves knowing. Indeed, the program has been advanced in secrecy despite significant public attention paid to the devastating consequences to communities where police enforcement of immigration law has been piloted.

    Read more about the Uncovering the Truth campaign ...

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Bike for Immigrant Justice -- The 2000 Mile Trip Begins on Saturday!

    This Saturday, NSM member Sheila Dhand begins her bike trip from Philly to New Orleans (2000 plus miles!) as way to raise awareness about the issues of immigration in the U.S.  As she visits communities along the way, Sheila  hopes to motivate people to action against the injustices that are being committed towards millions of immigrants across the country.  Please join us for the big send off --

    Saturday, May 1, 2010
    9:00am - 12:00pm
    Clark Park, West Philadelphia (43rd and Baltimore Ave)

    To stay connected to reports on the big adventure, visit Sheila's blog "Bike for Immigrant Justice" and join the "Sheila's Bike for Immigration Justice" Facebook group!

    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    Al Dia Article about Sheila's Bike Ride

    Al Dia

    sdhand | April 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:
    English Translation:
    Despite being an American, Sheila Dhand says that she knows that is going on right now with undocumented people.
    "I think it's important that people realize that this problem affects not only immigrants but also for us because with the deportations and anti-immigrant laws that are happening in different states, we are becoming a society without conscience. "
    This young woman, just 25 years and daughter of Indian immigrants, will tour in favor of immigration reform out of Philadelphia to conclude in New Orleans where she expected to meet various organizations to urge immigration reform to different representatives.
    "I am very aware of what is happening, I became involved in an organization that helps immigrants and decided to travel 2,000 miles on my bike ... this will take me about 7 weeks which start running the first of May. "
    Dhand will pedal 15 miles every day and will be making various stops to meet with people to discuss the raids and those faced by immigrants.
    "I think we need immigration reform because it is not fair that people are being judged by their immigration status, these immigrants have helped so much in the country's economic development and U.S. is not not paying them in a fair way. "

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Don't Miss It! May 2nd Family Unity BBQ/ 2nd de Mayo Barbacoa por la Unidad Familiar

    en español abajo...

    Family Unity BBQ
    Sunday, May 2nd
    at Mifflin Park (6th and Ritner)
    from 1 pm to 6 pm
    part of a national week of action called
    "Uncovering the Truth about Collaborations between the Police and ICE " 
    Hosted by New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, The Cambodian Association of Greater Philadeland and JUNTOS
    Please come celebrate these important events with your family at a multicultural barbecue.  Enjoy good food from different countries, sports, games and music. We will celebrate family unity and call for the end of all collaboration between the Philadelphia Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  We are coming together to celebrate and call for Family Unity!
     Barbacoa por la Unidad Familiar
    Domingo, 2 de Mayo
    Mifflin Park entre 6th y Ritner
    1 pm a 6 pm
    parte de una semana nacional de acción
    "Descubriendo la verdad sobre la colaboración entre la policía y la migra"
    Actividad patrocinada por el Nuevo Movimiento Santuario, JUNTOS, y la Asociación Camboyana.
    Venga a celebrar con su familia en un ambiente multicultural con gente de diferentes países, con música, deporte y comida. Queremos celebrar la unidad familiar y la unión multicultural, y decir a la ciudad de Philadelphia ya basta con las políticas que permiten que ICE y la policía colaboren. ¡No más a las deportaciones de nuestros familiares y amigos!

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    Philadelphia Rally for Immigration Reform - Saturday April 10th

    11:30am on Saturday, April 10, 2010

    National Constitution Center

    500 block of Market St. 

    Philadelphia, PA

    On March 21st, hundreds of thousands marched on Washington to demand Congress act NOW to deliver comprehensive immigration reform. Now it is time to bring this movement home, and to let our Pennsylvania Congressional delegation know that they have no choice but to act.

    Join us and stand up for our families, our communities, and our future. NSM and many other Philadelphia groups will take part in this rally organized by Reform Immigration for America.

    Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez has confirmed that she will attend. Additional invites have gone out to Sens. Casey & Specter, Reps. Brady & Fattah, Mayor Nutter, and Councilman Kenney.

    There are several cultural performances planned, including Aztec Mexican dance groups, Kyo Taiko drummers, a youth breakdancing group, and a Spanish language rapper. Additional invitations are going out
    to a group of Samba drummers, Irish dancers, and others.

    Coalition Meeting April 8th at 7pm / Reunion de Coalición 8 de abril a las 7pm

    New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia
    Coalition Meeting - Next Steps following Solidarity Event and March on DC
    Thursday, April 8 @ 7pm
    Visitation BVM Church, 300 E. Lehigh Ave in the school basement

    We've had two very exciting events in the last month - the "Solidarity - Then and Now" event honoring the original Sanctuary Movement, and the march on Washington DC for Immigration Reform. Come join us for an evening of reflection, sharing, and a discussion on how we can build on these two events. We look forward to seeing you!

    Nuevo Movimiento Santuario de Filadelfia
    Reunion de Coalición - Próximos pasos 
    despues del evento de solidaridad y la marcha en Washington DC
    Jueves, 8 de abril a las 7pm
    Iglesia Visitacion, 300 calle Lehigh, en el sótano de la escuela

    Nosotros hemos tenido dos eventos llenos de entusiamo en los ultimos dos meses - el evento "Solidaridad - Antes y Ahora" que honró el Movimiento Santuario original, y la marcha a Washington DC por la Reforma Migratoria. Ahora le invitamos a que nos acompañen para reflexionar, compartir, y discutir lo podemos construir siguiendo estos dos eventos.

    En Paz y Solidaridad,
    Jen y Peter

    NY Daily News: Immigration and Customs Enforcement tactics contradict Obama's promise of immigration reform

    In a NY Daily News article today, columnist Albor Ruiz writes:

    As much as one would like to take President Obama at his word on immigration reform, it has become increasingly difficult.

    Particularly when Immigration and Customs Enforcement is still running wild and contradicting Obama's repeated assurances that the agency would focus on dangerous criminals and not on workers and families.

    "We are not going to deport our way to a controlled immigration system. The ultimate solution is comprehensive immigration reform that ensures immigrants are legal, hiring is legal, and future immigration is legal," said Frank Sharry, executive director of the advocacy group America's Voice.....

    Read the complete article here.

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    On Monday March 15th, 7 workers from the Workplace Project of Long Island will be stopping in Philadelphia as they walk all the way to Washington, D.C. for the Immigration Reform Demonstration on March 21st.

    Meet at the Catholic Worker
    House of Grace at 1824 E Lehigh Ave
    Monday March 15th at 6:30 pm
    for a pot-luck and talk.

    We will hear stories from the travelers about their struggle, their work, and how it relates to immigration reform! Please bring your favorite dish to share.
    The Workplace Project was founded on the belief that while simply providing services might alleviate some of the pain of exploitation; it would do nothing to fix the problems in the long run. Instead, it has chosen to build community centers of and for immigrants, which work through a cycle of outreach, leadership training, membership building, and organizing for change in the labor context.
    We are honored to host this group and hope to see you there.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    NEW DATE! "Solidarity -- Then and Now" to be held on Thurs March 4th

    Please help us spread the word about our new date for the special event "Solidarity -- Then and Now"

    NEW DATE -- Thursday, March 4th, from 7pm to 9pm
    SAME LOCATION --  Tabernacle United Church located at Chestnut and 37th Street (enter on 37th)

    We're expecting a big turnout for this evening of storytelling and inspiration with Philadelphia leaders from the ORIGINAL Sanctuary movement of the 1980s together with the NEW Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia.   We'll be honoring Central Baptist, FUMCOG, Tabernacle, St. Vincents, Germantown Friends, Chestnut Hill Friends, Mishkan Shalom, and possibly others for their solidarity commitments in the 1980s.  And we will officially welcome Mishkan Shalom and Visitation BVM as the first congregations to affiliate with the New Sanctuary Movement.  In addition, we have plans for special music, photographs by Harvey Finkle, and stories by current immigrants in Philadelphia.

    The Meaning of Our Immigrants

    RE YOUR Feb. 2 article "Immigration-bill Marchers Win a Nod from Rep. Brady":

    I'm writing to clarify the significance of what happened and to address the long-standing misconception of the immigrant community and immigration reform.

    Attendees including Indonesian-, Cambodian- and Latino-Americans encouraged support of HR 4321. Testimony came from people who have been living in South Philly for more than 25 years, a pastor, owners of businesses and homes, and people who work more than one job.

    Most important, all of these people have been contributing members of their South Philly communities. They all support and love their family, friends and neighbors.
    The only difference is that these folks were not born here. Under current immigration legislation. . .

    * A woman is facing permanent separation from her son. She has been living and managing a business in South Philly with her family for more than two decades. Her son, who came here as a refugee with his family, may be deported for an offense he served time for more than a decade ago.
    * A man who came to the U.S. legally hasn't seen his children or wife for years due to the backlogging of their immigration papers.

    * A young and hardworking man who is providing for his family silently accepts great risks. He is vulnerable to violence due to racism and misunderstanding but cannot call the police. He knows that contact with police could lead to deportation, and then instability and poverty for his family.

    Immigration reform is about far more than jobs and legalization. It is about family, humanity and giving people the validity they deserve. Jobs provide food and shelter to family and children. Legalization acknowledges the rights and the hard work of our neighbors.

    HR 4321 offers family unity, not family separation due to old and outdated laws that need to be changed.

    Mia-lia Kiernan, Philadelphia

    Looking at the Other Side of 'Illegal'

    IN "Immigration's Unspoken Word" (Feb. 2), columnist Stu Bykofsky calls attention to the fact that many immigrants are considered "illegal."

    I'd like to emphasize that being in the U.S. without documentation isn't a criminal offense. It's a civil offense like speeding or jaywalking. People jaywalk for a number of reasons: They're late, or need to catch the next bus, or there's something happening on the other side of the street. Similarly, people immigrate to the U.S. "illegally" out of need. In the end it is not often a choice, it's a matter of survival.

    The movement of people across the U.S.-Mexico border isn't only a matter of survival of the people migrating north, it's also a matter of survival for our economy. Up to 75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state and local taxes. Undocumented workers are estimated to pay about $7 billion a year into Social Security. The average immigrant pays $1,800 more in taxes than she receives in public benefits, according to a study by the National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences. Over their lifetimes, the average immigrant and her immediate descendants contribute $80,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits.

    The average migrant is a 29-year-old Mexican male, earning less than $7,500 a year with a life expectancy of 49 years. As these workers accept low-paying jobs, long hours and no benefits, they keep our daily goods such as fruits, vegetables - and even housing developments - more affordable. Just imagine how expensive all goods and products would be without these low-wage workers who are called "illegal."

    Jennifer Rock, Philadelphia

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Postponing Feb 11th event due to snow storm

    We are very sorry, but we have decided to postpone Thursday night's event, "Solidarity - Then and Now," due to the coming snow storm.  After so much work, we were reluctant to do so, but felt it was the best decision.  We are still really excited about the event, and are rescheduling it for Thursday Feb 25 or Thursday Mar 4.  We will send an email once we get a final answer on the space.

    Please help us spread the word about this change of plans within your network of contacts.

     Sorry for any inconvenience, but we look forward to bringing everyone together for a great night in 2 or 3 weeks. 

    Saturday, January 30, 2010

    Call to Action -- Visit Congressman Brady on Tuesday!

    Join Us To Visit Congressman Robert Brady / US House of Representatives, Pennsylvania District 1

    With Members of JUNTOS, the Cambodian Association, And the New Sanctuary Movement

    When: February 2nd, 2010, 10:00 AM.
    Where: We will meet at 2029 S. 8th St., in the Houston Community Center Auditorium, to march to the Congressman’s office at 1907-09 S. Broad St. for a meeting at 11:30 AM.

    To ask Representative Brady to co-sponsor CIR ASAP, The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperty Act of 2009 in support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform to promote:

    -A path to legalization
    -Justice for Immigrant Workers
    -The Dream Act
    -Security Measures that don’t target immigrant communities.
    -Family Reunification

    Along with testimony from community leaders, we will deliver petitions and thousands of post-cards from constituents in the Congressman’s District in favor of immigration reform.

    Please RSVP!
    For More Info and to Confirm, Please Call: (267)-275-7810

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    Philadelphia City Council Resolution -- we need you at City Hall on Thursday!

    City Council Resolution in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform
    On Thursday Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez will introduce a resolution in City Council calling on our members of congress to support Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We need to show our strong support, so spread the word and please join us at City Hall! There will also be a press conference following the council session.

    Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:15a
    Philadelphia City Hall, 15th & Market, Council Chambers, 4th Flr


    Hope to see you Thursday!

    In Peace and Solidarity,

    Jen and Peter

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Reform Immigration for America Rally at St. Thomas Aquinas / Si se puede! = Yes we can!

    Written by Anna C. Dugdale, Title I ESOL Teacher at St. Thomas-Aquinas School in South Philadlephia

    Despite the ICE (Immigration and Custom) Raids of 30 suspected undocumented immigrants on Monday, January 11, 2010 which terrified many of the women and children whose homes were raided, hundreds of immigrant parents, students and their families from South Philadelphia came out this past Friday, January 10, 2010, on Dr. King’s birthday no less, to support the national campaign rally kick off event held in the St. Thomas Aquinas School cafeteria to advocate for immigration law reform. There is a nationwide call for action by our labor unions, community groups, faith organizations, civil rights groups and immigrant communities to push for comprehensive immigration reform this year in Washington. This rally advocates a legal path to citizenship for all immigrant workers so they may find the freedom, liberty and pursuit of happiness that our country has symbolized for all of us, as a land of immigrants.  

    Monsignor Hugh Joseph Shields welcomed us on behalf of the Office of the Vicar for Hispanic Catholics, followed by Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, who explained some of the current failures of our immigration system that leaves 12 million immigrants undocumented but who continue to work and contribute to our US economy. Thirty-year veteran immigrant attorney Jane Goldblum explained that if you do not come to the US with a 4 year college degree, it is nearly impossible to obtain a working visa. In addition, she said that it takes 5 years for a legal resident to acquire a visa for family members and during that time, many family members are compelled to work in the US illegally under the fear of deportation and the separation of their loved ones. Tswien Law, of the Greater Philadlephia Organization of Chinese Americans addressed some of the myths of immigrants and reminded us of the history of how the N. American railroads were built by Chinese American labor and that 1,000 of the 10,000 workers died on the job. Both Wayne Macmaniman and Antony Dugdale, District leader of SEIU 32BJ and Philadelphia Coordinator of UNITE HERE, Local 274, shared stories of how undocumented workers are underpaid, overworked and intimidated by the threats of deportation if they dare to speak out or stand up for fair wage and working condition civil rights. Jesus Gutierrez, a JUNTOS member, said, “Cuando se divida una familia, se divida todo el pais.” = “When we divide our families, we divide our country.”

    This Southeastern Pennsylvania Campain Kick off Rally is just one of many rallies “to create awareness and build a coalition of informed people to call on the new Administration and 111th Congress to commit to: 
    • I. “Uphold family unity as a priority of all immigration policies by
      • 1.) expediting the reunion of immigrant families separated due to the length visa backlogs, 
      • 2.) changing family preference categories and per country caps to prioritize family unity and 
      • 3.) removing bars to reentry and adjustment of status for individuals seeking to reunite with their family members.” 
    • And II. “Create a process for undocumented immigrants to earn their legal status and eventual US citizenship that affordable and does not take up to 10 years to process.” (Reform Immigration for America rally hand out)
      Note: You can also read about the top 10 immigrant myths and understand the facts from the National Immigration Forum’s June 2003 sources online.   (Click here for immigrant myths and facts document.) 
    On a personal note, it was heartwarming to see so many alumni of the Title I ESOL Program at St. Thomas-Aquinas school there, parents of students who are now excelling academically at local high schools and colleges. It continues to be an honor to teach and learn from these inspirational families from Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, China and Mexico who bring so much to our community!

    Philadelphia NSM and related immigration events