Building a Movement to Protect the Undocumented

August 21, 2018

Formerly the PICO Network, Faith in Action supports grassroots organizing that enables people of faith to build the power needed to reshape their lives and communities. Its network trains leaders and equips them with tools to fight racism and make society more equitable. Thanks to support from Voqal, Faith in Action built a strong movement focused on encouraging elected officials to pass a clean DREAM Act in the coming year.

Despite initially failing to push Congress to pass the DREAM Act, the training and base building Faith in Action conducted over the last year laid a strong foundation for civic engagement in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections. The volunteer leaders it trained through this work will deploy the skills they learned to lead new campaigns into Fall 2018. Immigration – and in particular, passing a clean DREAM act – remains a top priority.

One of its volunteers is an undocumented resident of the San Francisco Bay Area who participated in Faith in Action’s phone bank for the clean DREAM act. After working on the issue, she shared how powerful she felt the experience was for her – as an undocumented individual – to call voters to advocate for the bill and encourage them to contact their members of Congress. She remains a leader in Faith in Action Bay Area, and plans to get involved in upcoming fights on the issue of affordable housing.

In addition to training new leaders, Faith in Action engaged thousands through its phone bank, who have since been pulled into civic life and are now educated on the position that their Congress members have taken on the issue. This strong and growing base will be critical as Faith in Action focuses on District Attorney and Sheriff elections in 2018 (both of which play a role in protecting immigrants from, or exposing them to, ICE and federal enforcement agencies).

While Faith in Action may have suffered a brief setback in its fight to pass a clean Dream Act, it has created an enduring movement to protect undocumented communities. We are proud to have supported Faith in Action’s work to inform and engage its members on this important issue and look forward to its continued efforts at creating a more equitable society.