07.02.19 | Advocacy | by Giovanni Arroyo
Immigrants fleeing to the United States are increasingly facing crisis situations. Finding the best ways to meet their needs has become an issue of contention for many.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, immigration along the U.S.-Mexican border has increased 375 percent over this same time last year; 62 percent of apprehensions at the Southern Border are made up of family units and unaccompanied children.
The 2019 federal budget provides ICE detention funding for 45,274 individuals. About 50,000 individuals are currently detained. Recent news reports indicate that many of these detention facilities fall short of humane conditions.
In attempting to bring justice and mercy to immigrants, United Methodists embrace Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:35: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
To assist your church in ministry with immigrants, the Baltimore-Washington Conference Hispanic Ministries Executive Committee offers the following resources:
- #SacredResistance to Raids and Deportations
Congregations are invited to sign up to join #SacredResistance, a rapid response effort coordinated by our partners at Church World Service, recruiting houses of worship to provide temporary refuge and space during times of crisis. The list of churches will be made public so that people can know where to go in case of raids. We invite all United Methodist churches to be in prayer and on alert as we plan to take part in#SacredResistance together!
Red Cards from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center
All people in the United States, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution. The ILRC’s Red Cards help people assert their rights and defend themselves in many situations, such as when ICE agents go to a home. Download and print free Red Cards (in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Hmong, Vietnamese, Korean) at https://www.ilrc.org/red-cards
Home Raids Posters, Know Your Rights flyers, and other resources from the Immigrant Defense Project:
Print posters with instructions on what to do in case of a raid, flyers with Know Your Rights information, and more in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, French, Punjabi, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Tagalog, and more at https://www.immigrantdefenseproject.org/ice-home-and-community-arrests/
Lights for Liberty, Friday, July 12th
On Friday, July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps, will bring thousands of people to locations worldwide as well as to concentration camps across the country, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants.
United Methodists from all over the country will be participating. Would you like to join? Find an event near you! https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents
The hymn, “Christ, You Spoke to Us of Children,” written by a Presbyterian sister, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, lifts up the plight of migrants in a beautiful way, and could be used in worship services. More new hymn texts written to well-known, easy-to-sing hymn texts, with permission for free use, can be found at http://www.carolynshymns.com/topical_index.html#sublist_l
- Immigration 101 from America’s Voice
The immigration system is a complex one. This article is a response to a typical statement that is posed by individuals who are not aware of how the immigration process currently functions. "Why immigrants can’t just get online like everyone else?"
- Facts and Faith Card on Immigration -- English
Facts and Faith Card on Immigration -- Spanish
This at-a-glance resource from the Board of Church and Society provides a quick reference to scripture, the United Methodist view, facts about immigration, and ways you can take action for justice.
- Immigrant Welcoming Communities: Building Teams for a Justice Journey
How can we be a welcoming community? This document invites you on a journey of becoming a welcoming community for immigrants. It provides some concrete ways you can guide a congregation in embracing our sisters and brothers who have immigrated to our neighborhood.
- Welcoming the Migrant: Book of Resolutions
The United Methodist Book of Resolutions provides us with a framework on welcoming the immigrant and the church’s perspective on immigration.
- Justice of Our Neighbors
JFON is a United Methodist immigration legal aid organization. The DC-MD JFON clinic in the BWC is located in Rockville, MD, includes a staff lawyer, and is always in need of your support.
- Video: Who are Migrants?
This video provides a United Methodist reflection on: Who are immigrants and delivers a rich. Understanding of the reality of global migration today.
- Global Migration Giving
The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries encourages churches to give in support of the global migration Advance #3022144.
- Taking Action on Immigrant Detention
A comprehensive Google doc listing of resource on immigrant detention for those who wish to put their faith into action.