Keep Families Together!

2016-04-18t140244z2120215011tb3ec4i1309oirtrmadp3usa-court-immigrationOn April 18, GMC marched in support of DAPA in Washington, D.C. alongside many other Gamaliel affiliates, including Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, Action for Greater Lansing, and WISDOM. In addition, the Gamaliel network did an action on the Republican and Democratic National Committees demanding our political leaders to take action on immigration reform.

Gamaliel is proudly an inter-faith-based community that values human dignity for all. Many of our talented and passionate organizers and leaders who have helped build our organization are undocumented or from immigrant families. They work diligently and strive to build better communities and opportunities for their others.


Dream for All Bus Tour – ‘A Ride towards Citizenship’

Gamaliel affiliate, Asamblea de Derechos Civiles tours 11 Midwest Cities to Urge Judiciary Committee to Pass Immigration Reform Now

On August 19, 2013, the Minnesota-based civil rights group, Asamblea de Derechos Civiles (Assembly for Civil Rights), ADDC, an affiliate of Gamaliel, a grassroots network of non-partisan, faith-based organizations in 17 U.S. states, began a four-day bus tour to urge the House Judiciary Committee to pass immigration reform.

The group of over forty will be making visits to members of the Judiciary Committee in the following Midwest cities: Burnsville, Eden Prairie, MN, Mason City, IA, Chicago, IL, Brookfield, WI, Lima, Troy, and Cincinnati, OH, Farmington and St. Charles, MO.

“Last week, we celebrated the one year anniversary of the executive order, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” said Pablo Tapia, co-founder of ADDC. “Gamaliel affiliates across the country made congressional visits to deliver half birthday cakes to members of congress. Half cakes because the work is half done. DACA is beneficial for many, but it is not a permanent and stable solution and it leaves millions of people out. We’re going to keep fighting. The House must act NOW to provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented folks living in this country.”

Ana Garcia-Ashley, Executive Director of Gamaliel said, “We need an immigration reform now. The family is the basic unit of our society, but our broken immigration system divides families and keeps loved ones apart for years and even decades.”



August 17, 2013

Half Birthday Cakes to Be Given to Politicians in 11 Cities for Half the Job on Immigration

Events Mark Anniversary of DREAM Executive Order (DACA) but Helping Immigrants Is “Just Half Done,” Chicago Delivers Half Cake to Congressman Daniel Lipinski
Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ in English and in Spanish, immigrants, pastors and ‘DREAMers’ delivered a semi- circular half of a cake to Congressman Daniel Lipinski on August 17, 2013. Congressman Lipinski has evaded the issue of immigration reform and has refused to take a favorable stand for the immigrant community. It’s time to tell Congressman Lipinski to put on his chef’s hat and help complete the cake by helping to pass immigration reform. Half cakes will be delivered to14 district offices of congressional representatives on the one year anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), stressing that the job of immigration reform remains unfinished.

Similar actions were done in the district offices of US House members in 10 other cities in 8 states (HI, KS, MO, MI, MN, WI, IN, and PA)

Last August, President Obama signed the DREAM executive order which allows people born elsewhere and brought to the US as children to apply for citizenship. On August 15, 2012, federal officials began accepting applications from DREAMers. But the DREAM order leaves the mothers and fathers of DREAMers – childhood arrivals – in limbo and in danger of deportation. Advocates believe that comprehensive immigration legislation is still needed.
Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, Gamaliel affiliates and other immigration advocates are urging that Congress pass the Senate version of an immigration reform bill (S. 744, sponsored by Sen. Charles E. Schumer D-NY). They believe that the bill will unite new citizen DREAMers with their families who are still facing the threat of deportation.
The Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation that included a pathway to citizenship earlier this summer on a strong bipartisan vote of 68-32. Five immigration bills have passed through House committees this year. House leaders, however, have been unwilling to bring any of these bills to the floor for a vote. No bills have been introduced in the House that would provide a pathway to citizenship.  

May 24, 2013

Sacred Conversations: A Time to Tell the Stories about Immigration             

Clergy and immigrant community will meet with elected officials in church basement hearing

Chicago, IL – Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, (along with over 17 cities across the US) from the Gamaliel Network held a church basement hearing as part of Gamaliel’s “Dream for All” campaign for a comprehensive immigration reform.  The campaign works to uphold the dignity of individuals, guide immigration policy and keep families together. These Sacred Conversations provide community members with the opportunity to tell their stories—in particular, stories about immigration—and to share them in a sacred space.

Church basement hearings will be held in churches across the country (in cities and states) that include: South Bend (IN), St. Paul (MN), Hawaii, Oakland/Santa Rosa (CA), Battle Creek /Detroit/Lansing/Saginaw (MI), Quad Cities (IL/IA), Springfield (IL), Kansas City/St. Louis (MO), Milwaukee (WI) and more. These Sacred Conversations are part of Gamaliel’s Dream For All” campaign.  The campaign works to uphold the dignity of individuals, guide immigration policy and keep families together.

Where: St. Paul Church Basement – 2127 W. 22nd St., Chicago, IL 60608 in Pilsen

This is the time during which the Senate Judiciary Committee will be marking up (or amending) the immigration reform bill, S. 744 – Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and the Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.

Who: Approximately 30 people of faith, immigrants (both documented and undocumented), and Chicago community leaders were present. State Representative Edward J. Acevedo, Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, Congressman Dan Lipinski, State Senator Antonio Munoz, and Alderman Danny Solis (25th Ward) were invited.


April 10, 2013

Script for April 10 Day of Action Call to Senate and House Offices

Today, Gamaliel CRI delegates from 9 States will gather in Washington, D.C. to join tens of thousands of individuals to call on Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform. This will be a powerful day of Hill visits and a rally outside the Capitol.Events like this become even more powerful when folks on the ground create an “echo chamber” effect by calling their members of Congress to re-enforce the messages that they are receiving from those gathered in DC.

Below is a suggested script for the April 10 Day of Action Call to your Senators and House member. We urge you to make your call anytime between 8:45 a.m. CT and 3:00 p.m. CT . . . and to invite 10 other people within your circle of relationships to do the same. You may use the Capitol Switchboard number 202-224-3121 or call the direct number to your Senator or House member offices. Those numbers are available at:

Senate –
House –

Suggested Script:

Hello, my name is [your name]. I am a member of [name your congregation and Gamaliel affiliate]; and I am a registered voter in [Representative _______________’s district for House calls OR Name of state for Senate calls]. I care about comprehensive immigration reform [describe why it is important to you]. I am calling to urge Representative/Senator ___________________________ to ensure that a commonsense bill is released immediately. The bill must include: [select from the list below]

  1. Provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people currently within our borders, with an expedited path for immediate family members of U.S. citizens, DACA students, and individuals with Temporary Protection Status;
  2. Emphasize healthy families and communities rather than border security and punishment;
  3. Immediately halt deportations and workplace raids;
  4. Reunify families and end the Secure Communities program and legal provisions that have led to their separation;
  5. Protect civil, labor, and human rights of all immigrants, regardless of legal status;
  6. Provide access to healthcare, social services and due process, regardless of legal status;
  7. Ensure protections for victims of violence and trafficking; and
  8. Recognize the contributions of women and low income immigrants.

Note: You do not need to ask for a specific individual in the Member office. The Member’s front office is equipped to take your call and forward it to your Senator or Representative. The person you speak with may ask for contact information. If s/he does not and you would like a response from the Congressperson about your comment, please let them know and provide the office with your contact information then.

Read our: Civil Rights for Immigrants Policy Platform

April 3, 2013

Prayer Vigil for Immigration Reform at St. Paul’s Church

Our prayer vigil helped to lift up the stories of immigrants and to demonstrate publicly a commitment to fair and compassionate comprehensive immigration reform.

Silvia Miranda, parent leader at Edwards IB, Fine and Performing Arts Magnet School, and president of the Academy of Parents in Leadership said, “During my husband’s absence, I have been an unemployed single mother of five. The financial burden has pushed us to be evicted from our apartment.  The family separation has to stop!

Magadela Gonzalez, a youth leader of Gamaliel of Metro Chicago’s Young Prossionals Group said, “I am scared to travel outside the state, thinking what if I get caught and never see my parents again. My parents feel like they have no voice since they too are undocumented. My father has been a chef for 16 years and I can see the frustration in his face when he talks about the way he is treated at work. I applied for deferred Action of Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA), but that is not a permanent solution. We need an immigration reform now.

Watch the video:

March 27, 2013

Join us on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 as we fight in prayer and tell our state representatives that we need a just and compassionate immigration reform.

WHERE:  St. Paul Church 2127 W. 22nd Place – Chicago, IL 60608 

TIME:  6PM-6:30PM (You are welcome to stay for mass starting at 6:30pm)

*Please bring a family photo to send the message to Congress that all families should be united, not separated.*


  • Fighting for Immigration Reform, MEANS KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER!
  • Fighting for Immigration Reform, MEANS PROTECTING the human rights of ALL immigrants!
  • Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is NOT a permanent solution! The DACA work permit is only valid for FOUR years. What will you do after your permit expires? What will your children do?

For more information, please call: 312-666-2663 or visit:

Enact Just and Compassionate Immigration Reform!

February 6, 2013

Sign the Dream for All Petition!



Gamaliel’s ‘Dream for All’ Campaign is mobilizing faith, labor, and community leaders to call on President Obama and Congress to enact fair and compassionate comprehensive reform immediately, incorporating the following principles:

  • Create a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in this country now;
  • Prioritize healthy families and communities, instead of border security and punishment;
  • Immediately halt deportations and workplace raids;
  • Reunify families by undoing the 10 year ban faced by over 400,000 broken families every year as a result of the Secure     Communities program;
  •  Protect civil, labor, and human rights of all immigrants;
  •  Provide access to healthcare, social services, and due process for all immigrants;
  •  Spouses and children of US citizens, “Deferred Action” applicants, undocumented parents of US-born children, and individuals   with Temporary Protection Status (TPS), should be eligible for an expedited path to citizenship.

The signatories of this petition are calling for swift action, a departure from politics-as-usual, and leadership in enacting just and compassionate comprehensive immigration reform, incorporating the above principles.

The Campaign was launched in February 2013 in 15 states across the U.S.  with press actions, prayer vigils and meetings with Members of Congress. In Chicago, IL, Gamaliel of Metro Chicago (GMC) held a press conference in Pilsen with clergy and community residents.  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students gathered to share their stories and demand President Barack Obama keep his promise to act now on comprehensive immigration reform.

Our strategic nationally coordinated campaign, “Dream for All” includes:

  •  In-district State and Congressional Senatorial visits
  • “Prayer Vigils” in front of Members of Congress
  •   Leadership training to be effective advocates when we take our efforts to Washington DC

Continue civic engagement efforts through our citizenship and Deferred Action for Early Arrivals (DACA) workshops

Sign the Dream for All Petition!


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