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Blessing Not Burden | February 07, 2019
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It’s been a challenging start to the 116th U.S. Congress. For 35 days, the country experienced a partial government shutdown over a failure to fund a wall on the U.S. southern border. During negotiations, policy changes related to immigration were proposed but not agreed upon, and the predominant narrative about immigrants was vilifying and often untrue.

As people of faith, we have the opportunity to speak the truth about immigrants as budget negotiations continue. We encourage you to stay engaged by listening to the experiences of immigrants themselves and urging policymakers to pass legislation that supports and protects immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers.

Calderon Family Interviewed by Time Magazine

If you've been following Sovereign Grace CRC's fundraiser in California for the Calderon family, you'll be interested to know that they were interviewed by Time Magazine when still in a Tijuana migrant shelter a couple months ago. The Calderons are a young family of five from Guatemala who came to the U.S. with the Caravan to seek asylum. They continue to seek financial support so they can pay their immigration attorney. Please give what you can, read the Calderon’s story, and pray for those who have fled poverty and violence.

“Going back to Guatemala was simply not an option… in October, their family was forced to flee after a gang threatened to murder the children if they didn’t pay an exorbitant bribe, five months’ worth of profits from their tiny juice stall. The family hid for a day and a half in their house and then sneaked away before dawn… “The first thing is to have security for them,” [the mother] said of her kids, “that nothing bad happens to them.”

—Time Magazine Article “The Stories of Migrants Risking Everything for a Better Life

When Deportation Gets Personal: Yésica’s Story

Immigration enforcement hits home at Eastern Avenue CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Family separation is happening in our own communities, neighborhoods, and congregations.

"Today, a much more diverse congregation gathers for worship in two morning services. Now we know the names and faces of people with stories we cannot choose to ignore. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and when one member of our body suffers, we all suffer."

Continue reading »

Stand Up for Our Immigrant Neighbors and Fund the Government Responsibly

As negotiations continue for the federal government to be funded into FY 2019, we as people of faith must hold fast to our identity and calling. The synod of the CRCNA has long encouraged congregations and individual members to advocate for a fair and just immigration system that honors the inherent dignity of immigrants and refugees.

Call your Member of Congress today and ask them to fund the government responsibly by passing a budget that humanely secures our borders and protects immigrants and asylum-seekers.

Myth-Busting Video: Are Refugees Dangerous?

“When people say things like, ‘well, we just don’t know who these people [refugees] are,’ I think it’s important that we remember the United States has the most robust screening process of any country in the world when it comes to refugee admissions… it’s important as Christians that we tell the truth… we need to have policies that reflect truth.”

Two years ago on January 27, an executive order was signed which claimed to improve security for the U.S. by suspending the entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Now, the number of refugees the U.S. resettles is at an all-time low.

Watch the video here »

Meet with Your Members of Congress About Immigration

You have the opportunity to meet with your Members of Congress the week of February 18-22! OSJ regional immigration mobilizers in California, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, and New York are scheduling in-district meetings to share the faith community’s 2019 priorities on immigration. Contact Melissa Stek (mstek@crcna.org) if you’d like to attend one of these meetings. Don't live in one of these states? You can schedule a legislative meeting yourself!

For more information, see our legislative meeting announcement and this advocacy toolkit from Refugee Council USA.

In Case You Missed It

  • Learning opportunity: The World Affairs Council of West Michigan is hosting a course called, “Great Decisions Global Discussions,” to tackle important global issues like migration, cybersecurity, trade, and the fate of the State Department. Options to attend are in-person (Grand Rapids, MI) and online; registration is through the CALL website.  
  • Dispatches From the Border: what happens once immigrants cross the U.S. southern border? Tune into The New York Times “The Daily” podcast to hear firsthand accounts on the dangers and inhospitable landscape faced by migrants once they’ve crossed.
  • Immigrants keep this Iowa town alive: “We are approaching our eleventh year now of record lows in our serious crime rate and we are more diverse in Storm Lake than we’ve ever been. So the myth that immigrants commit crimes at a higher rate… is broken.”
  • Wear the message: the truth needs to be told about immigrants now more than ever. And we're selling off our stock of “Blessing Not Burden” swag! Order ASAP—we have limited stock. 
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