Blessing Not Burden | November 27, 2019
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November brought the finalization of the Presidential Determination to limit the amount of refugees admitted in 2020 to 18,000. As part of an Executive Order, for the first time in U.S. history, Governors and Mayors may now refuse to allow refugees into their cities and states.

The Supreme Court reviewed the legality of President Trump’s attempt to rescind DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) on November 12, and is expected to make a decision by June 2020.

Ask Congress to Support Asylum-Seekers

As of November 13, over 55,000 asylum seekers have been returned to Mexico under the “Remain in Mexico” policy while they wait for their cases to move forward in the U.S. The policy severely limits access to legal representation for migrants, and it returns migrants to dangerous situations. Since January 2019 there have been nearly 350 public reports of rape, kidnapping, torture, and other violent attacks. Ask your Member of Congress to speak out against this harmful policy and hold DHS accountable to process asylum claims with efficiency and effectiveness so that asylum-seekers are not made more vulnerable.

Church Between Borders Workshops around the U.S.

Church Between Borders workshops happened all over the country this month! Workshops were hosted in: Denver, CO; Pella, IO; Kalamazoo, MI; Grand Rapids, MI. Interested in hosting a Church Between Borders workshop in your community? We have trained facilitators that may be able to facilitate the workshop series for your community, depending on availability and location. Email Kendra at for more information.

DACA Reviewed by Supreme Court

On November 12, the Supreme Court reviewed the legality of ending DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The DACA Program, originally put in place to temporarily protect children brought to the United States illegally from deportation, began in 2012, and has allowed 700,000 people to stay in the United States temporarily.  President Trump rescinded the program in 2017. This decision will affect whether or not DACA recipients can attend higher education and work legally in the United States. The court expects to make a final decision by June 2020.

Stay Tuned for More Advocacy Opportunities!

The decision on the refugee cap for 2020 has been made, but our advocacy continues. The requirement for states and localities to make a decision to allow refugees into their communities means that both governors and mayors must say “yes” to admitting refugees in order for it to continue in each locality.  Stay tuned for any state and local actions you can take to ensure refugees are welcomed to your community. For a refresher on the Executive Order on States and Localities admitting refugees, listen to our Melissa Stek’s radio interview with The Pledge 98.9 at the Facebook link above.

How Can You Get Involved?

We were busy during our visit to Iowa! Northwestern College hosted a Faith and Immigration panel discussion that even got local news coverage! Here’s some ways you could promote discussions about immigration in your community:

  • Do your own Church Between Borders workshop with your Bible study group, Sunday school, or even your school or workplace
  • Include the “Immigrants are a Blessing” litany or the “Immigrants’ Creed”  in your church service. Find these and other worship resources in our Immigration Resources page here! (If you’ve used either of these before, use them again! Lots of biblical truths bear repeating!)
  • We’ve got a new shipment of Welcoming the Stranger books. Reach out to us if you want to do a book study!

Change the Conversation/In Case You Missed It

  • Sign up for our Advent Devotional series here! World Renew and the CRC Office of Social Justice are providing a devotional series for Advent 2019 called How Long, Lord? The devotions will be delivered to your email every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Advent.
  • 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 November, including:
    • Lowest refugees cap ever
    • Changes to the asylum process
    • New rules to restrict immigration

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.