Immigrant Welcoming Covenant
The First Congregational Church of Natick affirms that everyone, regardless of national origin, has basic human rights including livelihood, family unity and physical and emotional safety. Our faith tradition is grounded in the stories of immigrants. The Spirit calls us through our sacred Scripture to welcome the stranger, to love our neighbor as ourselves.
As members and friends of the First Congregational Church in Natick, we covenant to be an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation.
We commit to:
1. Support interfaith efforts to protect all people and to end practices that divide families and weaken our communities.
2. Listen deeply to learn from all those who are affected.
3. Lift a public voice in support of fair treatment and hospitality toward our immigrant sisters and brothers.
4. Work for just and humane immigration policies.
5. Collaborate with efforts to transform social and economic causes of forced migration.
6. Build relationships of solidarity through direct service, education, action, advocacy and accompaniment.
Immigrants in our community are subjected to wage theft. There are ways you can make sure that the people you hire to repair, clean, or landscape your home are treating their workers fairly.
Ask questions of the people you hire to do work on your homes. Make sure they are fair and treat their employees correctly:
Wage theft is prevalent for undocumented folks including
house cleaners, roofers, construction workers, landscapers
Who does your town employ. Are they treating their workers fairly?
Many schools have important things in place for immigrant families. You can research and help put in place programs if they do not exist.
Do they have programs to help immigrants with food, clothing, resources?
Do they provide computers and hot spots for folks without internet at home?
Do they provide multilingual information easily?
Finding housing in this area is extremely difficult. The metrowest area, particularly Framingham, offers a great deal of resources for families and many have been here for years. So it is an important place for them to be.
Research housing options for immigrants.
Do you have a friend with an apartment or a room they would rent for a reasonable amount?
Neighbors are willing and able to work, but jobs are hard to find.
Do you know an employer who would hire a worker?
Important legislation to help immigrant neighbors:
Contact your state Representative and Senator about the following legislation pertaining to immigrants in our community:
Ask that they co-sponsor
Safe Communities Act
Supporters have been trying to get this legislation passed for the last 4 years. The Safe Communities Act will ensure that everyone can access medical care, emergency assistance, and court and police protection without fear of deportation.
SD.532 (Sen. Eldridge), HD.1165 (Rep. Balser and Rep. Miranda)
The Work and Family Mobility Act would enable all qualified state residents to apply for a standard Massachusetts driver’s license, regardless of immigrant status, while keeping our Commonwealth in full compliance with REAL ID requirements.
Follow the Driving Families Forward Campaign: https://www.facebook.com/DrivingFamiliesForward/
Ways to help our local migrant neighbors
Local information and donations:
NOTE: checks can be made out for either of these to as follows:
Please put Housing/eviction in memo line for the eviction fund, and Emergency fund in the memo line for Emergency fund
Mail to: PO Box 409 Framingham, MA 01704
Eviction/housing fund: supporting immigrants facing illegal evictions.
Emergency fund: supporting immigrants with immediate needs.
Donate online through the church website, or send checks to FCC Activities fund and note family fund in memo line
Family fund: supporting families seeking asylum through our church
Metrowest legal services: provides free civil legal aid - donate online
Neighbors fund - a local fund to help local families
When ICE detains someone, usually a family is then in crisis. We, their neighbors, can make all the difference for them by helping to obtain a lawyer, paying legal bills and bond, helping with the cost of utilities or diapers.
UCC sanctuary churches fund - a nation wide fund that assists churches offering sancturary to families
This fund is used by Sanctuary Churches to provide shelter, food, clothing, and other basic necessities to individuals in sanctuary. These funds may also be used by hosting churches to assist sanctuary families since they are living with loss of income and increased expenses.
Statewide information and donations:
Massachusetts Immigrant Collaborative: emergency relief fund The purpose of the collaboration is to address immigrant families’ most urgent needs by providing direct financial relief and other resources.
Beyond Bond and Legal Defense fund: raises money for immigration bond to free people in ICE prisons who have a connection to the state of Massachusetts
MA Coalition for Domestic Workers: (MCDW) works to bring racial and social justice and dignity to all domestic workers in our state.
If you would like updated information on some local work, subscribe to the Metrowest Immigrant Solidarity Network newsletter - email MargeRoberson@gmail.com for information.