Advocacy

Responding to the plight of migrants

The Rev. Arturo Gonzélez Sandouzl (second from right) and other members of the United Methodist Immigration Task Force pray with Isabél and her 16-month-old daughter Kassandra at a makeshift camp near the bridge leading to the U.S. in Matamoros, Mexico. The mother and daughter traveled from Nicaragua in hopes of seeking asylum in the U.S. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.
The Rev. Arturo Gonzélez Sandouzl (second from right) and other members of the United Methodist Immigration Task Force pray with Isabél and her 16-month-old daughter Kassandra at a makeshift camp near the bridge leading to the U.S. in Matamoros, Mexico. The mother and daughter traveled from Nicaragua in hopes of seeking asylum in the U.S. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Four denominational entities issued a new A Call to Action for United Methodists in Response to the Plight of Migrants on July 9.

“You have seen the deplorable conditions under which migrant children and families are being detained in the U.S. right now.  We cannot be silent in this hour.  The voice and actions of The United Methodist Church must be heard and experienced in this moment,” says the statement. Signing it were Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, chair, UM Immigration Task Force; the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, general secretary,   General Board of Church and Society; Thomas Kemper, general secretary, General Board of Global Ministries, and Harriett J. Olson, general secretary/CEO, United Methodist Women.

Among the actions the statement urges are:

  • Give to the Advance for migration.
  • Speak out to end child detention by sending drawings and letters from United Methodists of all ages to Congress and the White House.
  • Encourage your local unit to join the UMW action plan.
  • Speak in support of persons in sanctuary and the churches supporting them.
  • Support United Methodist sanctuary congregations and the immigrants they are hosting by praying and by sending them a postcard expressing your support. The letter concludes with a list of United Methodist Sanctuary churches.

In late June, UMCOR and the General Board of Global Ministries urged action, gifts and prayer specifically on behalf of children held in detention. A flyer is still usable as is a prayer originally written for the June 30 Sunday of Solidarity for Suffering Children. Among the suggested actions are calling elected U.S. officials and making UMCOR hygiene kits. While U.S. government regulations preclude UMCOR from providing direct assistance to the children in the holding facilities, it has has distributed over 46,000 hygiene kits to six transitional shelters along the U.S.-Mexico border. UMCOR also provides support for six Justice for Our Neighbors sites in cities there.

Originally published on July 10, 2019.