Blessing Not Burden | October 31, 2019
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October 2019 has been an important month for refugee policy in the United States. The refugee shutdown continues, and the proposed ceiling of admitting only 18,000 refugees for 2020 is still not official. This is the lowest proposed refugee number since the program officially began in 1980, and would represent less than 0.1% of worldwide refugees. Due to this delay, there is also still a moratorium on refugee flights to the United states that were already booked and scheduled.

Urge State Support for Refugee Resettlement

In tandem with the administration’s announcement proposing to only resettle 18,000 refugees for Fiscal Year 2020, President Trump also signed an executive order that gives states and localities the ability to deny refugees from being resettled in their communities. As Christians, we recognized that refugees are blessings and that by welcoming them, we are welcoming Christ among us. Urge your state and local elected officials to sign a letter to the president in support of refugee resettlement in their communities!

An Asylum-Seeking Family in El Paso Video

The rules for asylum seekers keep changing, and are making it harder and harder for those seeking asylum to comply with the law.

After fleeing Cuba, this family sought asylum protection in the United States, and they are now waiting in El Paso as their case gets processed. Watch an interview of the family conducted by our Immigration Mobilization Specialist, Melissa Stek.

Meet Our Newest Team Member

Meet our newest Office of Social Justice staff member, Kendra David! Kendra comes to us from the Inner City Christian Federation, where she worked with families to pursue their goal of home ownership.

Kendra will be doing most of the Church Between Borders workshops. Email Kendra at to set up a workshop. She’d love to do a workshop for your church, school, or group!

Our Successes in Lobbying Congress to Support Refugees

Because of our collective advocacy, several Republican members of congress showed their strong support of refugee resettlement in a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo. Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado took the lead on the letter and signees were 16 other Republicans including Michigan Reps. Fred Upton and Bill Huizenga. The OSJ and many CRC and RCA members were involved in mobilizing these policymakers to action. Thank you!

Meeting with a “Refugee for Life”

Innocent Mugambi from This Is Hope Malawi visited the Office of Social Justice, along with April Palmbos and Jacob Tornga from the International Association for Refugees. As a refugee, Innocent became interested in OSJ's advocacy work after watching livestream of the Rise for Refuge West Michigan event in August. Innocent spent the first 27 years of his life in five different refugee camps across four East African countries. He shares his experiences in Refugee for Life – My Journey across Africa to Find a Place Called Home.

Immigration In the News/In Case You Missed It

Overwhelmed by all the headlines detailing drastic changes to immigration policy? You’re not alone! Here’s a blogpost that tracks the significant decisions of the Trump administration that happened in October, including:

  • Changes that target poor immigrants
  • Deals struck with Central American countries
  • Programs speeding up deportations
  • More separated families discovered

We've been working hard to spread the truth about the blessings of immigrants in our country and to counter myths that have the power to turn into policy that harms our immigrant brothers and sisters.

We can’t do it without you. Help continue this important work.