Office of Social Justice News | October 2019

Call Today: Protect Refugee Resettlement

On September 26 the Trump Administration announced its proposal to set the refugee admittance cap at 18,000 for Fiscal Year 2020 — a historic low. Before that decision can be made, however, the President has to consult with the leading members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and Immigration Subcommittees. At a time when more than 25.9 million refugees worldwide are fleeing persecution, war, or violence, it is important to remember our call to “love the stranger” (Deut. 10:19) — and we cannot welcome refugees if they cannot enter the country. Speak up for refugee resettlement by participating in this critical action alert, asking committee leaders to advise the President to protect our refugee program today!



Impacts of Lowering Refugee Admissions Cap for FY 2020 video

Because the U.S. President did not make his determination on FY2020 admittance numbers by Sept. 30, the program is shut down until he meets with certain congressional leaders to make a final decision. His current proposal is to admit no more than 18,000 refugees next year — a historic low.

In this video, our partners discuss the impacts of lowering the refugee admissions cap for next year: Kristine VanNoord, Bethany Christian Services; Stacey Clack, Church World Service; Peter Zigterman, World Relief - Chicago; interviewed by Melissa Stek, CRC Office of Social Justice.

Our spiritual discipline of advocacy continues. Ask Congressional leaders to urge the President to protect refugee resettlement, and ask your state and local officials to oppose the President’s executive order.


Asking Good Questions This Election Season

During the upcoming 43rd Federal Election we encourage you to ask good questions. Your representative can’t represent you well if they don’t hear from you. Caring for our refugee neighbors can start by electing officials who have meaningful answers to these questions.


Busting Myths about Climate Change in Canada

Is climate change a conspiracy? Isn’t climate change a partisan issue? Are large countries like India and China even doing anything — and if they are not, why should Canadians act? With all of the questions about climate change coming up during Canada’s election season, CPJ in Canada has this guide to help you sort out the myths from the facts.


Is Forgiveness the Same as Restorative Justice?

The hugs in the Botham Jean murder trial have precipitated an important conversation about restorative justice. Here’s an interesting conversation about the nuances of forgiveness and restoration, and the racial dynamics at play in this case. It would make for a great small group discussion starter!

Read more »


Hong Kong Erupts on China’s 70th Birthday

Thousands of protesters clashed with police in Hong Kong on Tues., Oct. 1. It was the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China's founding, and while a celebratory military parade took place in Beijing, at least 66 people were wounded across Hong Kong. One was injured critically when an officer fired a live round into his chest, a first in the four months in which these protests have been taking place. Many journalists have withdrawn after violence against them occurred.

God, as these protests go on, and as violence seems to be escalating, we continue to pray for peace that comes with justice. We pray especially for the church in Hong Kong, and for its witness and work at this critical time.


Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Life

Earlier this month a complaint was filed against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the mistreatment of pregnant migrant women under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. Between being sent back and forth to Mexico, several women were kidnapped, held for ransom, and prevented access to proper prenatal care. One asylum-seeker was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, and she claims U.S. immigration authorities took her to a hospital to stop her contractions before she was returned to Mexico. Another woman cited in the complaint said her water broke the same day she was sent back, but she didn't report her labor pains for fear that her child would be taken from her. (To join in advocating to change the “Remain in Mexico” program, click here.)


Asylum-Seekers in El Paso

Watch this interview to hear directly from a family about their experience seeking asylum at the U.S. southern border.


Growing Restorative Churches

Don’t miss this training in Grand Rapids, Mich.! Join us and our partners at Safe Church Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church for this two-day Restorative Practices training for churches on Nov. 8 and 9. We would love to see more of our congregations trained in restorative practices! Get your tickets here!

In Case You Missed It

  • Refugee Cutbacks Could Isolate Rohingya Children in the U.S.— Rohingya refugees risk indefinite family separation if the U.S. President further reduces refugee resettlement next year. “Bruce Mossburg, program director for refugee foster care at Bethany Christian Services, which has sponsored many of the Rohingya in Michigan, says the children his agency works with often appear to struggle with survivor’s guilt. ‘It’s hard for them to heal and move forward if their families are in crisis and they do not know if they will ever see them again,’ he said. ‘Cutting the numbers is devastating for them.’”

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