From Paul Brun Del Re
Peace Education Coordinator, MI District Church of the Brethren
The Moment for Action has arrived!
The Church of the Brethren and other faith communities need to act to protect our refugee and immigrant brothers and sisters. This includes Muslims as well as Christians and anyone else because we are all part of one human family.
Many Christian denominations and organizations have been involved in immigration and refugee work for decades. They are the experts on meeting these needs and welcoming the stranger. We need to not only strenuously object to the President’s Executive Orders on Immigration and Refugees but we need to continue to do the work and go beyond the limits that government agencies may try to burden us with.
The President and those whom he has surrounded himself with continue to stoke the fires of fear in our country. As people of faith, we have been called out to respond to life and what it brings with Love. For Christians, who take the words and actions of Jesus seriously, this is the Love of Agape, which is the unconditional Love of friends and enemies.
Here are some things that you might consider doing to move our country in a more positive direction and help bring a more Loving presence into the world:
– Pray for a change of Heart for those making decisions out of fear.
– Welcome and support any undocumented people or refugees in your community. Invite them into your home. Cook a meal for them. Take them to the store. Help watch their children. In other words get to know them on a personal level.
– Declare your village, town, church, city, etc. as a “Sanctuary”. Sanctuary could exist on a variety of levels.
– Politically make your voice heard by contacting your members of Congress. Tell them that you do not approve of the President’s Executive Orders on Immigration and Refugees. (See information below on how to contact them.)
– Encourage schools, colleges and universities to support and protect students who are in the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. Ask school officials to make a public pronouncement of this support.
– Organize or participate in press conferences, rallies, vigils, protests and demonstrations to express your support for refugees and undocumented immigrants and opposition to banning people from certain countries, building a “wall” on the southern border and forcing local police to enforce federal immigration laws.
– Meet with local law enforcement (city, township, village, county) and ask that they not share information on immigration status of detainees with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The following provide links to articles that provide background President Trump’s 2017 Executive Orders on Refugees and Immigration and responses from advocacy organizations and especially from communities of faith: