Blessing Not Burden | June 27, 2019
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The reports of children in detention facilities — and the conditions they are being held in — are devastating. Here’s some of what we know:

  • Lawyers touring a detention facility discovered a premature infant who was so ill she would have died without immediate treatment. Three toddlers also needed hospitalization for the neglect they were suffering.
  • An 8-year-old girl struggling to take care of an unrelated two-year-old toddler in custody because there was no one else caring for him.
  • Kids have been sedated forcibly, forced to sleep on concrete floors under bright lights 24/7, been held in isolation for days, and had pepper spray used on them.
  • No toothbrushes, toothpaste, or diapers and a lack of inadequate water. Kids forced to go weeks without bathing or a clean change of clothes.

We are called not to turn away in horror, but to bear witness to this suffering. We must pray — for children, for parents, for U.S. leaders.

And as we weep with these children who weep, we also are called to “defend the rights of the poor and needy,” (Prov 31:9). What can we do?

Call Your Member of Congress

Call your Member of Congress here.

Here is a suggested message:

“Neglect of a child, whether by a parent or by our government, is unacceptable and we must stop it. Congress must provide additional funding to address this humanitarian crisis. But that’s not enough: We also need accountability. The government must get the right people and the right plan in place to take care of children it is detaining and to transfer them out of detention as quickly as possible.”

Support Organizations Doing Humanitarian and Development Work in Central America

Support organizations like the Association for a More Just Society, who are doing amazing work in Honduras that makes it a safer place to live.

Support organizations like World Renew, who are doing amazing development work in various Central American countries to promote the well-being and flouring of people in those countries.

Then, advocate to keep funding going to development and humanitarian aid organizations who are seeking to address the root causes of migration. Ask your Member of Congress to ask the State Department to reverse its decision to cut aid to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras!

Support Immigrant Rights Organizations in your Local Community

Simply Google the words "immigrant justice" and the name of your city (or nearest larger city) and look through the results to find efforts local to you and how you can help.

In Michigan, where the offices of the CRC Office of Social Justice are located, the work of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center has been critical and brilliant (including the case of the youngest child separated from his parents).

You may also feel called to support some of those defending the rights of children at the border itself — RAICES, Al Otro Lado, and Kids in Need of Defense are all reputable organizations doing life-saving work.

Spread the Truth about the (Many) Distinct Crises that Happening Now at the Border

There are many things that are happening, all at once, at the border. It’s important that we keep them distinct as we advocate for solutions. Three of the crises are:

  • Unaccompanied children are being held in mass detention facilities.
  • Families are still being separated, and not being reunited.
  • It’s becoming impossible to claim asylum.

Learn more about those three distinct crises in this Do Justice blog post.

There are a million things we can do. Let’s refuse to do nothing.
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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.