UUSC believes that migrants in the United States should have the right to seek asylum, be free from arbitrary detention and deportation, and that families should stay together out of detention.
We are supporting our partners in their work to document abuses in immigration detention centers and at the U.S.-Mexico border, to provide legal assistance to seek asylum, and to establish and maintain a national pro bono hotline for immigrants in detention to receive legal support, connect with family, and advocate for themselves.
We collaborate on original research and documentation, such as our reports on mental health assessment in detention and the Central American Minors In-Country Refugee Processing (CAM) refugee program.
We also campaign for more just and humane U.S. immigration policies that will keep families together in our communities, and do not deport them to danger. Tearing our communities apart makes no one safer.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program provided protections from deportations and the ability to work and attend school for more than 800,000 young immigrants. In September 2017, the Trump administration cancelled this program, removing DACA recipients’ (commonly referred to as “Dreamers”) legal status and leaving them vulnerable to deportation.
UUSC and our partners and allies continue to advocate for passage of a clean Dream Act, which would create a pathway to citizenship for more than 2.1 million undocumented young immigrants who came to the United States as children, without additional anti-immigrant provisions that harm our communities, such as billions of dollars to expand the border wall, more immigration detention centers, or restrictions to diversity visas and family-based migration.
Temporary Protected Status
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is designation that the U.S. government can offer non- citizens who are unable to safely return to their countries of origin due to political instability and violence or as a countries recovers from a natural disaster. As of October 2017, 437,000 people had TPS in the United States from 10 countries—El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
TPS is one way the U.S. government can honor its moral and humanitarian obligation to provide safe haven to people who may be in danger. However, under the Trump administration, TPS has been drastically curtailed. Since August 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has cancelled TPS for multiple countries, hundreds of thousands of people at risk of losing their livelihoods and being separated from their families.
In the wake of the 2016 election and the emergence of President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, UUSC joined together with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to ensure our communities were protected. This partnership developed into Love Resists, a joint campaign that activates people of faith and conscience to resist the criminalization of our neighbors and communities, and create a safer, more just, welcoming, and sustainable world. Learn more about the campaign and join us in this work at loveresists.org.