Tensions around the issue of immigration and refugee policy have and continue to create great anxiety in our communities. This anxiety is only increased due to a lack of accurate information about what is and isn’t happening and how individuals can respond to these issues. Just this weekend concerns about mass raids by ICE and then a walkback from those threats has created even greater anxiety and fear.
Accurate and carefully crafted and vetter information is critical for all of us in these conversations. Two weeks ago I met with leaders of our congregations that have a high proportion of immigrant populations in their midst (which btw in NT-NL Synod, ELCA is not only Latinx communities, or communities of color, we are blessed with a variety of immigrant communities in our midst).
These leaders have congregations made up of people with a variety of legal status and in various processes (one of the issues with our broken immigration system is despite the belief of many there is not a clear path to legalization) and so I wanted to listen to them on how best to lead our synod. One thing I heard clearly was a desire for accurate information. This link from LIRS is good information for individuals who might find themselves engaging immigration officials.
The second thing I heard from our leaders was a deep desire that all congregations and leaders in NT-NL educate themselves on the issues at hand. Too many partisan talking points drawing on our basest instincts and fears are driving this conversation in our communities. We need to advocate for reform to our immigration and asylum processes that cares for the weakest and the least among us. The situation of those detained at our borders is unacceptable and appalling for a nation built on the labor of immigrants. We can and must do better.
Please utilize the resources of our church including LIRS and work for compassion for those seeking asylum and refuge, reform to our broken immigration system, and and end to partisanship and demonization of the other that leads to inaction. #NTNL #LIRS #InMissionTogether