2011 – Conversation Café – Immigration as a Moral Issue

Migration of people—driven by economic, social, political and environmental factors—is taking place around the world. Millions are currently in transit, in refugee camps, in detention centers, or living and working in places without full legal status and without access to social services or protection of civil rights. Delegates at the 2010 General Assembly in Minneapolis, MN selected “Immigration” to be the 2010—2014 Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA). ALUUC members and friends discussed this issue as part of a six week curriculum, intended to give a broad overview to this complex issue.

In 2011, we met on Monday evenings – June 6, 13, 20 and July 11, 18, and 25 from 6:00-7:30 pm in the Darwin Room.

June 6 – Understanding the Causes of Migration
June 13
– History of Immigration in the U.S.
June 20 – Economics of (Im)migration
July 11 – Security, Enforcement, and Human Rights
July 18 – Who Benefits from a Broken System?
July 25 – Seeking Solutions

For more information, http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/issuesprocess/currentissues/immigration/index.shtml

Understanding the Causes of Migration
June 6, 2011
This session introduced participants to each other and gave them a sense of what they bring with them to the discussion and what they hope to gain; engaged participants with the personal reasons for why people immigrate; and had them begin to think about how our national policy should treat different kinds of immigrants.

History of (Im)migration in the U.S.
June 13, 2011

This session encouraged participants to see the immigration issue from perspectives other than from the legacy of colonialism and to think about what it means to be considered “American.”

Economics of (Im)migration
June 20, 2011

To “experience” the standard of living disparities between the U.S. and Mexico (and by extension, other parts of the world)  and to see the working conditions under which migrant workers toil.

Security, Enforcement, and Human Rights
July 11

This session provided a glimpse of the enormity of the human suffering caused by the U.S.’ enforcement-only immigration policy and considered how human rights are protected (or not.)

Who Benefits from a Broken System?
July 18

This session tied together what has been learned from the previous weeks and reframed the debate from one of citizenship to one of globalization and corporate power.

Seeking Solutions
July 25

This session helped us visualize what a just immigration policy would look like from a Unitarian Universalist (UU) perspective.  We also planned our next steps of participation in the social witness process.