News & Media

For Immediate Release: October 2, 2019

Contact: Erin Williams | ewilliams@faithinaction.org | (202) 748-0699

Mary Lareau | mlareau@uucf.org | (703) 346-3027

Virginia – Congregation Action Network, a campaign within Faith in Action focused on immigrant justice in the D.C. Metro  area, is recognizing a community victory after reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is no longer seeking space in Northern Virginia for a facility to detain migrant children and youth. 

“This is a strong step forward in the work we do to fight for refugees and the undocumented, both of which are groups that come to this country seeking safety and protection,” said Pastor Julio Hernandez, from Christ Crossman United Methodist Church in Falls Church, VA and a faith leader from  Congregation Action Network. 

“As faith leaders, we work to carry out our calling by being of service to those in need and providing sanctuary and shelter. Building a place to detain people that are already in a compromising situation in their lives is not morally just or right. It is comforting to know that we are on the same page with city officials and community leaders that have opposed this measure from the beginning.” 

Last week, Alexandria, Va. mayor Justin Wilson tweeted a screenshot of a message he received from HHS saying they were no longer conducting exploratory assessments of properties to build facilities in the area, along with taking Atlanta, Central Florida, and Los Angeles off of their radar.

CAN has been engaging heavily in community advocacy in recent weeks, including last month’s participation in the MoCo Stands with Immigrants counter-protest against the Concerned Citizens Coalition of Montgomery County rally in support of federal immigration agents. Most recently, CAN has aligned with the #UnitedAndFree campaign, a partnership of more than a dozen local organizations focused on mobilizing community members to demand that elected officials oppose similar measures in the D.C. Metro area . 

“Our fight locally is linked to the national fight at the border to end inhumane treatment and detention of migrants, and we remain committed to leading our community in ways that are morally right and just and beneficial to everyone,” said Hernandez.


The Congregation Action Network, formerly known as the DMV Sanctuary Congregation Network, is a network that acts in solidarity to end detention, deportation, profiling, and criminalization of immigrants and demands justice, dignity, safety, and family unity. In the face of hate and discrimination our faith calls us to act with love, compassion and hospitality. More information at https://live-faith-in-action.pantheonsite.io/federation/congregation-action-network/

Faith in Action, formerly known as PICO National Network, is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information visit www.faithinaction.org.

Faith in Action is a 501c(3). Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.




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