198 faith-based communities united together to write a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan, condemning the "Remain in Mexico" policy. The letter focused on two points, "The policy puts people fleeing danger back in harm’s way and The policy jeopardizes access to counsel, due process, and the overall ability for a person to find safety in the United States."
"We, the 472 undersigned leaders of diverse faith communities and 198 faith-based organizations, write to condemn the baseless and immoral Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the Remain in Mexico Policy. We request the immediate termination of this egregious policy which returns vulnerable asylum seekers to Mexico and puts them at risk of further harm while they wait for their case to be processed in the United States.
Our faith traditions compel us to welcome one another with love and compassion, regardless of the place of birth, religion, or ethnicity. Our diverse moral teachings find consistency in the absolute value of the human person and our obligation to protect the most vulnerable among us. We call on you to uphold our country’s asylum law and respect asylum seekers and others seeking protection as the human beings they are and to work to address the root causes that drive people from their homes in search of safety."
To read the full letter click here.
Due to years of conflict and disease thousands of Liberian refugees who fled the country are at risk of immediate deportation. Our partners at the National Council of Churches, are urging us all to take action and protect refugees from immediate deportation by acting now and contacting congress.
Contact Congress Today to Ask for Action to Protect Refugees
Liberian Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) Status Ends March 31
Thousands of Liberian refugees who fled civil war and disease are at risk of immediate deportation unless Congress acts. Since 1991, Liberia has been continuously designated for either Temporary Protected Status or DED, due to unsafe country conditions preventing Liberians from safely returning. In 2007, President Bush directed that DED be granted to Liberian TPS holders, allowing them to remain in the United States for eighteen months. Since then, DED for Liberia has been extended by all subsequent administrations - Democrat and Republican alike. In 2016, the Obama administration extended DED for Liberia for an additional 18 months, after it suffered from an ebola outbreak that began in Guinea and devastated Liberia as well. The epidemic killed 11,000 people in the span of two years. Despite this history, the Trump administration announced the ending of DED by end of March this year.
The Liberian Council of Churches has asked directly for help from people of faith in the U.S., especially their Christian brothers and sisters. On a recent trip to Liberia, General Secretary/President Jim Winkler pledged that NCC would advocate to protect the status of Liberians as a response to the Biblical mandate to "welcome and care for the sojourner and immigrant and refugee..."
A bill before Congress would help protect Liberians in the U.S. The Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act, sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline and Sen. Jack Reed, will give Liberians an opportunity to apply for permanent residency and, eventually, a path to citizenship. Write to your representative and senators now to urge them to support the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act!!
Recently UCC Environmental Justice Ministries completed a webinar or Climate Change and Forced Migration. This webinar will address one of the most important issues of our time: climate change and forced migration. War, agricultural hardship, severe weather-all of these can connect to climate change and the factors behind migration for millions of people. For example, one of the factors behind the much discussed caravan of migrants from Central America was climate change. How can people of faith respond to increasing climate migration? To watch the full webinar click here.
"Sign-up to receive monthly notices about upcoming webinars that feature speakers who will assist churches in learning about best practices for ministries related to caring for God’s creation. Each webinar will have a focus pertaining to one of the four areas of discernment for Creation Justice Churches: theology and worship, institutional life and practice, circles of awareness and advocacy, and connections to a broader movement. Participation in the Creation Justice Churches program is not required to join a webinar." UCC Environmental Justice
CWS Launches Call Center to Connect Asylum Seekers Released from Detention with Resources in Local Communities
Church world services has published a press release advising they are launching a call center to connect asylum seekers that were released from detention centers with local communities to aid in support and sanctuary. For over 70 years Church World Services has aided in the support of immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people by providing support through sustainable relief, development, to local community support.
Dear Honorable Members of The 116th Congress:
Over the past two years, the administration has made drastic changes to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), resulting in human tragedy and long-term damage to the United State’s ability to respond to displacement crises. We urge Members of Congress to utilize their oversight authority to protect and rebuild the USRAP so that its legacy can continue as a pillar of U.S. leadership.
The UCC engages in support for asylum seekers because of and through the lens of faith. Worship, ritual and theological articulation are central to why and how the UCC supports people seeking asylum.
Praising God and caring for one another as God’s children is the heart of who we are as Christians
December 19, 2018
Congressman Tom McClintock:
As a constituents and persons of faith, we are profoundly saddened and shocked by the violence perpetrated against those legally seeking asylum in the United States. These attacks on immigrants and asylum seeking families and individuals need to stop.
Congress must take action to stop the Administration’s rampant disregard for the legal right to seek asylum and the moral imperative to provide refuge for those seeking safety. In the upcoming budget discussions, Congress should reject funding for the border wall, increased border militarization and any spending increases for immigrant detention and enforcement.
I also urge you to vigorously engage in congressional oversight. The Administration needs to be held accountable for their actions against asylum seekers. The right to asylum is sacred and should be upheld and protected. Please take action and call for an immediate end to the Administration’s attack on those who seek asylum. We also request a full investigation into the death of seven year old Jakelin Amei Rosemary Caal Maquin, who died last week in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol. Jakelin should never have been separated from her father, and until there is a full investigation into Jakelin’s death, no child is safe.
It is up to you to make decisions to uphold our moral standing as a country and recognized the contributions of immigrants and those who come to our country seeking refuge. It is up to you to decide what kind of country we want to be.
Members of Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ
Pastor Casey Tinnin
6440 King Road
Loomis, CA 95650
Display this 18”x24” plastic lawn sign in your church’s front yard, on the side of your building or wherever you see fit to share the story of Jesus’ birth and proclaim to your neighbors that when we welcome refugees, when we welcome asylum-seekers, we are welcoming Christ.
The Christmas story is not only a story of the birth of our Savior, but also a refugee story - a story of a family forced to seek asylum to escape terrible, life-threatening violence at home. Matthew 2:13-14 reminds that after Jesus was born, his family was forced to flee to a foreign country where inhabitants spoke a different language and practiced a different religion. They were forced to flee without knowing whether they would be offered welcome and refuge, or meet further rejection and violence. They had only their faith in God, and the hope that the Egyptian people would provide them safety and shelter.
Advent is a time to share the miracle of Jesus birth and the Gospel promise of peace with justice. And it is also a time to remind ourselves and our neighbors that Jesus, too, was a refugee.
Purchase this item here.
The United Church of Christ partner Church World Service has released a press release regarding President Trump and the setting of the refugee goal for fiscal year 2019.
Trump Signs Presidential Determination with Dismally Low Refugee Goal
Congress urged to hold administration accountable to meeting historically low 30,000 refugee resettlement goal for FY 19
WASHINGTON, D.C - Today, President Trump signed a Presidential Determination setting the refugee admissions goal for Fiscal Year 2019 to 30,000 -- the lowest number in the history of the program. In response, Church World Service President and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough issued the following statement:
“Today’s heartless decision to further cut the refugee resettlement program does not reflect the values of people of faith across this country who welcome refugees into their communities and into their lives. We will continue to work together to prevent anti-refugee voices in the administration from destroying the public-private partnership built by people of faith to provide a lifeline to refugee families who have no other hope of safety. We urge Congress to hold the administration accountable by demanding that this meager resettlement goal be met and working to restore American leadership to address the global displacement crisis.
“The low number of refugees resettled in fiscal year 2017 should not be seen as a marker for U.S. capacity but as an indication of the dire effect that politically-motivated policies such as the refugee ban and unnecessary processing slowdowns can have on the process. With hundreds of thousands of refugees in the U.S. resettlement pipeline, the administration can meet its meager goal for 2018 without even batting an eye.”
The announcement came after months of pressure by refugee advocates, faith communities and resettlement organizations to bring the admissions cap to 75,000, much closer to the historic average.The required consultation with Congress occurred late Monday night with little opportunity for Congressional oversight on the proposed refugee goal.
The organization notes that the administration has the resources and ability to easily meet its stated goal of resettling 30,000 refugees, despite its failure to resettle even half of the refugee admissions goal for fiscal year 2018. As FY18 came to a close only 22,000 refugees had been admitted to the United States.
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), which was built as a private-public partnership between faith communities and the U.S. government, has maintained broad bipartisan support since its inception in 1980. The USRAP has successfully provided more than three million refugees tools for integration and self-sufficiency to start over in safety and U.S. communities have in turn benefited from these individuals. As a pillar of U.S. foreign policy, our nation’s resettlement program represents a standard of excellence that other countries look to as a touchstone for their own policies.
As the world faces the worst displacement crisis in history, Church World Service will continue to work to advocate in solidarity with vulnerable refugees, and to provide essential services to displaced families around the world in response to the global migration crisis.
Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org.
"A UCC minister in Columbus, Ohio is one of several faith leaders and local lawmakers standing in solidarity with members of the refugee community Thursday morning, September 20, as they shared their stories about resettlement in the United States. How the issue is about people, not numbers. Why the issue isn't about politics – it's about saving people's lives.
"The Trump administration's decision to slash the number of refugees welcomed in fiscal year 2019 to 30,000, the lowest number in U.S. history, is a moral abomination perpetrated by an administration which oft cites biblical references to undergird their decisions and preaches the value of family," said the Rev. Kate Shaner, minister of Mission, First Community Church UCC, Columbus. "The intentional decision to abandon the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters directly contradicts the Greatest Commandment, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and inflicts misery and despair on those already suffering."
The group took their message to the streets outside Columbus' local refugee resettlement office, Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), to call attention to the Administration's announced drastic cuts to the refugee program. After setting the lowest refugee admissions goal in history last year – 45,000 – and admitting less than half of that low number, the Administration plans to slash the number even further next year, during the worst refugee crisis in human history."
To read the full story written by Connie Larkman click here.