Did you know?
» More immigrants now live in suburbs than in central cities.
» The foreign-born population is 13.5% of the total US population, down from 15% a century ago.
The church is called to carry out an active ministry of compassion toward all immigrants, regardless of their legal status or place of origin. The importance of embracing those who differ from us is clearly required by the injunction in the Baptismal Covenant to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself” and by Christ’s expansive definition of “neighbor” in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37). Immigrants are our neighbors, our fellow parishioners, and our friends. They are our sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ and we, as a church, must accept Christ’s call to work together for a world where all might live with dignity and without fear or injustice.
Immigrants are one of the most vulnerable populations in this country. They are taken advantage of, treated unfairly, and refused assistance. Many are reluctant to seek help from any institution, fearing that they will be forced to return their native country and prevented from seeing their family in U.S. Unfortunately, these fears are well founded.
Currently, our Congress is at an impasse and has not passed any act for immigration assistance. Therefore President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). Simply stated, these policies provide relief from the fear of being deported and give applicants the right to work. Unfortunately, these programs are under attack and have been put on hold until the Federal Court system rules on their legality. This is why we seek your support for a resolution (D048) which affirms this type of immigration relief. At the time of this article’s writing, the House of Deputies has voted in favor of D048 and several other immigration centered resolutions. We hope they will pass the House of Bishops shortly.
- Laura Russell, Episcopal Network for Economic Justice