A Night of Chanukah to Save DACA: Lighting the Way for Dreamers

December 13, 2017

Background:

The American Jewish community has a long and proud tradition of advocating for policies supporting refugee protection and settlement.  Our Torah provides guidance welcoming immigrants when we are told, “When strangers reside with you in your land, you shall not wrong them. The strangers who reside with you shall be to you as your citizens; you shall love each one as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (Leviticus 19:33-34).  Guided by this, our values and our historical experiences of persecution and flight, as a community, we believe that our country’s immigration policies should reflect the best of our national values: equality, fairness, due process under the law and respect for human dignity. We are therefore deeply concerned about recent policies and actions that threaten to erode current U.S. immigration and refugee policy and our nation’s proud history as a beacon of hope for people around the world.

We are especially concerned about the administration’s announcement to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as of March 5, 2018 unless Congress passes legislation before that deadline. DACA is a policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country as minors, often referred to as Dreamers, to obtain work permits and protected them from deportation.  Once it expires, some of the 800,000 young adults brought to the U.S. as children who qualify for the program, will become eligible for deportation and lose access to education and work visas. The only hope for maintaining the DACA program is through Congressional action.

Along with other major Jewish organizations, we are asking that while you are celebrating the festival of Chanukah, you take a few minutes to let our elected officials know that as Jews and Americans, we must immediately pass a DACA bill that protects Dreamers who want to live peacefully and productively in our country.

Action Steps:

1. Write a letter/postcard to your Congressional Representative and Senators Casey and Toomey. You can access a postcard template here (be sure to use card-stock) or draft your own letter (see suggested text below). Remember to use proper postage: 34 cents for a postcard and 46 cents for a letter.

If you are unsure of your member of Congress, use the following tool: https://www.house.gov/ and enter your zip code on the top right corner.

Contact information for the members of our delegation is at the end of this document.

Emails or phone calls are also helpful to get the message out if you are short on time.

2. Let people know that you are taking action as part of your Chanukah celebration!  Post pictures on social media or share what you just did to support DACA. Be sure to use the following hashtag: #jewdaca2018

3. Reach out to family and friends and encourage them to participate in our Night of Chanukah to Save DACA Campaign. Share the following link for all the instructions:

Thank you for helping us carry the light of the season and using it to promote Congressional actions that will protect Dreamers who want nothing more than to live peacefully and productively in our country.

Have a wonderful Chanukah.

Sample Text for Letter/Email on DACA:

Dear______________,

I am writing to urge you to immediately support bipartisan legislation that will include all the protections currently provided under DACA and allow Dreamers to continue to live full lives in our country. Dismantling the DACA program goes against my values as both an American and a Jew since both traditions teach us to welcome the stranger and stand with the vulnerable.

I hope that you will carry the light of the season and use it to promote Congressional action that protects Dreamers who want nothing more than to live peacefully and productively in our country.

Sincerely,

Contact Information:

Senator Robert Casey
393 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202.224.6324
https://www.casey.senate.gov/contact/

Senator Pat Toomey
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C 20510
Phone: 202.224.4254
https://www.toomey.senate.gov/contact/

Cong. Robert Brady (PA-1st)
2004 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.4731
https://brady.house.gov/contact-me

Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-2nd)
1105 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202.225.4001
https://evans.house.gov/contact

Cong. Ryan Costello (PA-6th)
326 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202.225.4315
https://costello.house.gov/contact

Cong. Pat Meehan (PA-7th)
434 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202.225.2011
https://meehan.house.gov/contact

Cong. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8th)
514 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202-225-4276
https://fitzpatrick.house.gov/contact-me

Cong. Brendan Boyle (PA-13th)
1133 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202.225.6111
https://boyle.house.gov/contact

Cong. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16th)
516 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202.225.2411
https://smucker.house.gov/contact/email