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Blessing Not Burden | October 26, 2018
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The pace of drastic changes to immigration has not slowed down ⎯ right now, we are fighting against historic cuts to refugees, changes to rules that protect immigrant children from being jailed, and a rule change that would punish immigrant families for legally accessing support programs. These changes are devastating, and overwhelming. The time for the church to act is now.

We encourage you to get informed and engaged ⎯ join the many congregations that are hosting a Church Between Borders workshop this fall, are integrating immigration into their worshiping life, and grounding their advocacy in real relationships with immigrants in their community. For help, connect with your regional immigration organizer ⎯ we’ll get you started (kkooyman@crcna.org).

Oppose the Indefinite Detention of Migrant Children!

The Trump Administration is proposing a change to the amount of time immigrant children can be legally incarcerated. Under current practice, children must be held in the least restrictive settings, and incarcerated for no longer than 20 days. The administration wants to change the rule so that children, together with their parents, can be incarcerated for as long as the family’s immigration cases are pending.

Submit public comments to the Department of Homeland Security to oppose longer detention for migrant children!

The Immigrants Creed

Recently, a CRC pastor read this Creed after announcing to his church that a man who has been part of their congregation was picked up and put in immigration detention last week, leaving his wife and young children full of fear and facing huge challenges. Many families face similar trauma each day. A woman who was in the congregation that day had their husband deported several years ago; she and her children said these words alongside their church family, too.

View the Creed here »

Why Public Charge Changes Matter Videos

The Trump administration has changed a rule used for denying greencards to immigrants. The change will prevent many low-income people the opportunity to change from a temporary to a permanent immigration status, and also prevent families from reuniting. It impacts immigrants who are able to legally access certain public benefits — such as Medicaid, food assistance, and housing vouchers — forcing some to choose between accessing those benefits and gaining a permanent immigration status, and driving others to needlessly disenroll from those programs out of fear.

We asked different people in our communities, such as educators, health care providers, and parents, and people of faith why this change matters to them and have been sharing their response videos on our social media.

Check out this video where a public health nurse explains why this change matters to health care professionals!

Churches in the U.S. and Canada Partnering to Reunite Refugee Family

In August of 2016, Loop Christian Reformed Church in Chicago, helped support a Syrian refugee family in their move from Jordan to Chicago. The mom has a sister still living in a refugee camp in Jordan with her two young children, an older son, and daughter in law. She has health problems made worse by conditions in the camp. With the U.S. refugee cap set at 30,000, they have almost no chance of being let in. So, Loop Church is partnering with a church in Saskatchewan, where the family has another sister, to sponsor the rest of the family  and resettle them in Canada. Loop Church has to raise $40,000 Canadian Dollars, which is about $31,000 U.S. Dollars, in order to cover the costs of resettling the rest of the family in Canada.

Check out this video about their efforts and link to make donations!

Cadillac CRC Hosts Community Conversation about Immigration

Recently, Cadillac CRC (in Cadillac, Michigan), hosted a community conversation about immigration which began with the OSJ’s Church Between Borders workshop, and ended with a panel discussion that included a local pastor, a social worker, and the county’s Sheriff, speaking to the real impact that immigration policies are having on the whole community. Interested in hosting a similar community event? We’d love to help! Contact Kate at kkooyman@crcna.org.

Support Immigrants and Oppose Changes to the Public Charge!

The Trump administration has announced that immigrants in the United States who legally use public benefits such as food assistance and Section 8 housing vouchers could be denied green cards under a new “Public Charge” ruling. The move, aimed at keeping out people the administration deems a drain on the country, could force poor immigrants who rely on public assistance for food and shelter to make a difficult choice between continuing to access programs their families need, and risking the loss of their legal immigration status.

This executive order also fundamentally changes our immigration system by targeting family-based immigration and limiting legal pathways to immigrate.

Submit a public comment to the Federal Register in opposition to the changes to the public charge!

Immigration in the News

  • Trump Administration Weighs New Family-Separation Effort at Border: “One option under consideration is for the government to detain asylum-seeking families together for up to 20 days, then give parents a choice — stay in family detention with their child for months or years as their immigration case proceeds, or allow children to be taken to a government shelter so other relatives or guardians can seek custody.”
  • Prayer for Central American Migrant Caravan Trekking through Mexico: A caravan of Central American migrants numbering up to 7,200 or more fleeing government corruption, extreme poverty, and rampant violence has reached southern Mexico. Trump has taken to Twitter to criticize Central American governments, to suggest the migrants receive refuge in Mexico instead, and to threaten to reduce U.S. aid to these countries. But requiring these people to apply for asylum in Mexico would be a violation of international law, which obliges the U.S. to provide protections to people fleeing persecution and entitles those who flee to receive an interview to determine the credibility of their fear.
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