Thursday, June 18, 2009

ADVISORY: FCNL Hosts Press Conference With Congressman Mike Honda

Hey all...sorry I've been MIA for a week. I was out in New Mexico with Intermountain Yearly Meeting (a yearly Quaker gathering of sorts). And then came back and had to catch up on all the madness I had missed in Washington last week.

But out of this madness has come something really exciting.

Today, FCNL will host a press conference with Congressman Mike Honda to talk about his bill, the Reuniting Families Act (H.R. 2709). On the call will be our executive director Joe Volk, Rev. Dean Snyder of the United Methodists Church, Rabbi Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Rev. Bud Heckman from World Religions for Peace. We'll also hear from Shirley Tan, a Filipina woman who will tell her own story of dealing with the broken family immigration system.

I'll update you after the conference, but for now, check out the press advisory!


Contacts: Alexandra Douglas 202.903.2513/
- or - Caroline Anderson 202.903.2516

For Immediate Release

June 18th media call includes Rabbi, Quaker, United Methodists


WHAT: Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 4, 2009, the Reuniting Families Act (H.R. 2709) is landmark legislation, sponsored by Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15), addressing a broad range of obstacles families encounter in their efforts to remain together under U.S. immigration law. The bill contains practical solutions for reducing family visa backlogs and promoting humane and timely reunification of immigrant families.

WHO: Congressman Honda will be joined by Joe Volk, Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Other participants will include Reverend Dean Snyder from the United Methodist Church, Rabbi David Saperstein from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Reverend Donald “Bud” Heckman from the World -Conference of Religions for Peace. The call with also feature Shirley Tan, a Filipina and Eucharistic minister from Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Pacifica, California. Shirley will share her compelling story, including the overwhelming support she received from her pastor and faith community after being threatened with deportation and separation from her partner of 23 years and their 12-year-old twin sons.

WHY: There are 5.8 million people caught in the backlog of family immigration cases waiting unconscionable periods of time to reunite with their relatives. The current family-based immigration system has not been updated in 20 years – keeping spouses, children and their parents separated for years and often decades, despite the fact that the family has played by the rules. The Reuniting Families Act takes important steps toward fixing our broken family immigration system by reducing wait times for legal immigrants and ending discrimination against same-sex, permanent partners and their families.

WHEN: Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 10:15 AM [EST]

WHERE: Via Conference Call – To dial-in, call 480-629-9868 (or toll free at 1-888-561-1721) The conference ID is 4096721


The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is the oldest registered ecumenical lobby in Washington, DC. Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL staff and volunteers work with a nationwide network of tens of thousands of people from many different races, religions, and cultures to advocate social and economic justice, peace, and good government. FCNL is a nonpartisan 501(c)4 public interest lobby.

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