Immigration, Welcome and Sanctuary
The foreigner residing among you
must be treated as your native-born.
Love them as yourself,
for you were foreigners in Egypt.
I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19:34, New International Version
All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement:
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Galatians 5:14, Common English Bible
Dreamers and DACA
For the last five years, young undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children have an the opportunity to seek authorization to come out of the shadows and work, study and live without fear of deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established by President Obama. These young immigrants are known as the Dreamers and the program is known as DACA. Some 800,000 dreamers currently have DACA status, and most are working and/or attending school. Tuesday, September 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that over a six month period DACA will be ended. Here is some basic information that you should know and links to more detailed information and resources.
What is DACA? a good, short overview of DACA in Wikipedia
Ending DACA is unchristian, a guest editorial by Untied Methodist Bishop Carcaño in Time magazine.
Information for Immigrant Youth, Their Families, Friends and Allies
Information about the current situation, mental health, organizing, and more: Here To Stay Resources
Información sobre la situación actual, ayuda mental, organización y más: Nos Quedamos Recursos
Protect Immigrant Youth
Listen to immigrant youth. Build relationships. Become a trusting ally. Relationships, Relationships, and Relationships.
Tell the political leadership of this country to pass the DREAM Act: Contact congressional members Click here to write your congress person
Become part of local safety networks: Local networks for protecting immigrants
Become a sanctuary church or sanctuary support church: About Sanctuary and Other Church Actions
Stay in contact through our Greater Northwest Facebook group We Welcome Immigrants
This web page was created to provide tools and encouragement to help us love one another, love our neighbors and love the stranger. We do so in response to God’s call and joyfully knowing that in these acts of love and accompaniment we may meet Christ or perhaps be surprised by angels. (Matthew 25:35-36, Hebrews 13:2).
Please note that nothing here serves as a substitute for the legal representation of an attorney regarding specific situations and the law.
Resources for Immigrants and Refugees
- Know your rights and prepare safety plans for children and youth:
- For your own safety, participate in community coalitions, connect with supportive organizations, and build relationships with welcoming churches and sanctuary churches. Find resources to connect in your community.
- Help someone who has been detained by ICE.
- Even more resources and information are available.
Many Ways to Welcome, Love, and Be Sanctuary
Are we not called to love our neighbor, to seek the Kin-dom in our midst, and help create communities that show forth God’s love and justice in how we treat one another?
The American Friend’s Service Committee invites us to work for Sanctuary Everywhere.
How do we start?
See the links below and those in the menu on the top right for a variety of resources to help you and your congregation or faith community to move forward.
- Welcome and safety must start with building relationship…
…GET OUT OF THE CHURCH BUILDING, hang-out with others, listen, be present and learn!
- We can best support immigrants when we are respectfully aware of differences…
…[The cultural competency link is under construction.]
- We can work together to mitigate the risk…
…of people living in fear, neighbors being detained and families being separated. We can limit the danger, and more quickly and helpfully respond: by learning about the reality, understanding what rights we all have, working with others in the community, and building coalitions.
- When people are detained we can figure out what to do…
… to be in support of those who are detained and return them to their families. We can learn about the immigrant detention system, work to end the privatization of detention centers, and change the current policy of holding large numbers of immigrants in detention.
- We can advocate for change through public witness…
…calling the government to develop just and welcoming laws and policies; calling ICE and all law enforcement officers to treat others with dignity; calling ourselves to repentance and greater love; and calling our community to treat one another as neighbors. [The advocacy link is under construction]
- There are ways for all of us to create SANCTUARY…
…We can find ways to create spaces and moments where everyone can breathe safely together; to bring our fears and brokenness before our Creator, and to know that we are all beloved children of God. There are times when some congregations have or will declare themselves a Sanctuary and people living in the church building. However, that is not the only way to respond and it is not the most often needed way. Check out the links included here and prayerfully discern with your church and your community in what ways you are called to be a LIVING SANCTUARY.