Crisis at the Border

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As many may be aware, the situation at the U.S.–Mexico border continues to worsen. The news is filled with alarming stories detailing a veritable crisis at the border. We see pictures of asylum seekers in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. We see reports of children who have been separated from their families, and as if that news were not disheartening enough, we are learning that their detainment by Border Patrol is punctuated by inadequate nutrition, poor sleep conditions, poor hygiene, and overall traumatic treatment. And then we read the sad news that yet another migrant has died in Border Patrol custody.

As people released every week into the world to love and serve the Lord, your Faith-in-Action committee recognizes that many of you may be wondering what we can do as Christians and concerned citizens to respond to this crisis. Dioceses that are geographically near to the crisis have offered ample suggestions for confronting the injustices against migrants, particularly in this letter co-written by Californian bishops as well as this piece by Diocese of the Rio Grande bishop Michael Hunn. The Diocese of North Carolina and the Episcopal Church as a whole have also published statements with suggestions for action. If you find yourself wondering what all this is about and want to learn more about the church and immigration, you may find the 2010 pastoral letter on immigration reform published by the House of Bishops an insightful resource.

In the immediate though, we offer to you the following action steps you can take:

  • Prayer:
    • Prayers for refugees and those held captivity, a resource of the Church of England
    • Prayers for immigrants and refugees, a resource of the Diocese of Iowa
    • The Book of Common Prayer: Prayers for the Human Family, for Peace, and for Peace among the Nations, BCP 815–816; prayers for Congress or for a State Legislature, for Courts of Justice, and for Sound Government, BCP 821–822; a prayer for Social Justice, BCP 823; and a prayer for the Oppressed, BCP 826
  • Advocacy:
  • Local Efforts
    • Get involved locally with immigrants who are in sanctuary in Triangle-area churches: Rosa Ortez–Cruz, in sanctuary at Church of the Reconciliation in Chapel Hill; Pastor José Chicas, in sanctuary at School for Conversion in Durham