In July 2012, members from the Western Jurisdictional Conference took a tour on the southern edge of San Diego area close to the Mexican border. Attendees were educated on the history of the border lines, discussed the current policies involving border security, and met with fellow Methodists from Mexico through a border fence at Friendship Park. Photo by Jesse N. Love
Hispanic caucus urges advocacy on immigration issue
Courtesy of UMNS Daily Digest, United Methodist News Service
NEW YORK (UMNS) — Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans issued a statement on the recent actions by President Barack Obama and some U.S. senators working on changes to immigration laws. “We call on every United Methodist and on all persons of faith to seize this moment and openly and forcefully advocate before the U.S. Congress for changes that will reunify families, must protect separated children and do recognize the gifts and the contributions that immigrants are making to our nation,” said the statement from the Hispanic caucus of The United Methodist Church.
MARCHA’s Statement on Immigration
“What does the Lord requires of you: to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God” -Micah 6:6-8
“And when a stranger sojourns with you in your land, do not oppress him/her. Let the stranger … be to you as the native along, and you shall love him/her as yourself.” -Lev. 19:33, 34
MARCHA (Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans) has for many years prayed and advocated for a comprehensive reform of the Immigration system in the US. We recognize that the reality of today’s immigration is mainly a consequence of economic powers in place between nations that create more inequalities abroad and in our own land and force individuals to look for ways to survive. The present system has created great suffering with tragic consequences. In the space of a few years we have seen several Hispanic congregations decimated, we have witness the suffering of children whose parents have been deported, and we have mourned the tragic death of many persons in the desert. We rejoice that the political climate in our nation has changed, history and hope have come together opening the space for a just and humane reform of the immigration laws of our country. As persons of faith we perceive this moment as a call to “do justice and love kindness” and do the moral and right actions that will recognize the human and civil rights of our immigrant brothers and sisters, allowing them to come out of the shadows into a life of peace and hope.
We call on every United Methodist and on all persons of faith to seize this moment and openly and forcefully advocate before the US Congress for changes that will reunify families, must protect separated children and do recognize the gifts and the contributions that immigrants are making to our nation. This is not a call for tolerance but a call to radical hospitality based on the recognition of essential relatedness. We need to remember that faithfulness of the church is measured by how we treat and advocate for the most vulnerable in our societies.
We are encouraged by the work of the eight Senators that are drafting legislation on Immigration Reform and excited about the statements of President Obama on his desire and actions to fix our broken immigration system. But we remain concerned that in spite of many voices calling for immigration reform there are proposals that do not address all the actions needed to create a just and comprehensive reform. Therefore, we propose the following principles to guide our advocacy:
- Ask President Obama to immediately stop all deportations while the congress acts on a comprehensive reform, keeping families together.
- Ask state governments to care and protect children who have been separated from their parents by immigration raids and deportations until they are once again reunited with their parents
- Ask the Federal Government to continue to challenge the legality of the State anti-immigration laws.
- Ask Congress to adopt the DREAM Act in its entirety.
- Ask that all DACA beneficiaries be included in the Affordable Health Care.
- Make sure that any immigration reform includes a path to full citizenship.
- Denounce any incident of racial profiling that takes place anywhere in our nation.
- Protection of all workers from exploitation and unfair competition.
We invite all to join us in prayer and in acts of advocacy until a just and humane reform of our system of immigration is achieved.
January 29, 2013