2014-2015 Mission Focus: Crisis at the Border

 

 

MISSION FOCUS:

14-15 Mission Focus “Crisis at the Border”

From 2004-2011, the number of unaccompanied children arriving in the U.S. averaged 7,000-8,000 annually. In 2012, that number rose to over 13,000 children; in 2013, it was over 24,000. In 2014, the projection is that over 60,000 children will attempt to find refuge in the United States. What the numbers don’t reveal, however, is that the population of unaccompanied children arriving in the United States is changing: now there are more girls, more younger children, and more victims of trauma.

Border wall

Romans 12:9-21 calls Christians to a most radical love. We are to extend hospitality to all, reaching beyond our own comfort zones and fears. We are to outdo one another in showing honor and mutual affection, and we are to overcome evil with good. Scripture tells us again and again to defend those who are unable to defend themselves, and to show our love of Christ through loving others. The children seeking asylum need us desperately; our faith compels us to respond.American Baptist Women’s Ministries is focusing in 2014-2015 upon this critical issue. Over the next several months, you will receive by email and through our website information and resources to help you study to this issue in your women’s and girls’ ministry groups, your congregation, and personally. The crisis at the border demands our immediate attention and response. Children need our help; families need our support and advocacy; nations—including our own—need our prayers.New resources and information will be posted here on a regular basis. Keep checking back for more!For Your Study

  • “Pastoral, Practical, Prophetic, and Personal: A Resource on Immigration”, published by the ABCUSA immigration task force.
  • In Their Shoes: Immigrants and Refugees, published by American Baptist Women’s Ministries, 2013. Part of the In Their Shoes: Women Walking with Women Worldwide multi-media resource collection, Immigrants and Refugees includes Bible studies, program session plans, activities for children, recommended resources for your further study, and many other ways for you to reach out to the immigrants and refugees in your communities. Click here for more information.
  • In light of President Obama’s announcement of the executive actions he plans to take on immigration, , the Interfaith Immigration Coalition hosted a webinar  on Tuesday, November 25, that explained those actions and potential impact. To more fully understand the actions and impact, see these resources from that webinar. Click here to download the PowerPoint shown during the webinar. Click here to download that PowerPoint as PDF. Click here to download the audio of the webinar. You may either simply listen to the audio, or pair the audio with the PowerPoint and follow along on your screen as the speakers refer to the slides on the PowerPoint. They share everything on the PowerPoint in the audio, but it goes fairly quickly, so having the PowerPoint open in front of you while you’re listening will be helpful. One of the speakers on the webinar was David Leopold, immigration attorney/immigration reform advocate, past president and general counsel, American Immigration Lawyers Association. He has a very helpful blog post, “What the Immigration Executive Actions Mean for You and Your Family: 8 Things You Need to Know.” For other information, visit the Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s additional resources here. Pay special attention to the “Take Action” information at the top of that page.
  • Click here to download the summary background paper from AB Women’s Ministries.
  • Read this blog post by Stephanie Porter-Nichols, associate pastor at the Marion Baptist Church in Marion, Virginia.

Links

  • ABCUSA participates in the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, which provides educational materials and opportunities for advocacy.
  • Church World Service is also engaged in the crisis of unaccompanied children at the border.
  • The National Immigration Forum is an immigrant advocacy organization with representatives from all sides of the issue. The website has resources, information about policies and advocacy, and a blog. (Subscribe to the blog by copying the URL of the blog page into your blog reader.)

What You Can Do

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a partnership with non-profit organizations and accepts donations in support of the humanitarian situation in the Rio Grande Valley. Non-profit organizations can support the children and families in CBP facilities by donating blooks and blankets. For more information on how to donate, and specific item descriptions, contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection NGO Liaison at NGOLiaison@cpb.dhs.gov
  • Find a screening or host one of one of the following documentaries:
    • “Abrazos: A Journey in Search of One’s Identity,” a film by Luis Argueta,www.abrazosthedoc.blogspot.com. This documentary follows a family of U.S. citizen children who travel from Minnesota to Guatemala to visit their grandparents for the first time. Abuelos y Nietos Juntos is a project of family reunification between the sons and daughters of Guatemalan immigrants in Worthington, Minnesota and their grandparents in San Marcos, Guatemala. If there are no screenings scheduled in your area, use the contact form on the website to find out how you can host a screening.
    • Luis Argueta is the producer of another award-winning documentary, “abUSed,”http://abusedthepostvilleraid.com/, about the Postville Raid, a U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid on a kosher slaughterhouse and meat-packing plant in Postvile, Iowa, in May of 2008. This resulted in nearly 400 arrests of undocumented persons. Only some were allowed to remain in the U.S. on a U-visa; the remainder were convicted and deported. The impact of the raid, arrests, and deportations on the families, business, and entire community of Postville was devastating.
  • AB Women’s Ministries publishes a monthly email with information, links, and ideas for involvement in the issue of unaccompanied minors arriving at the borders. This email goes out to anyone already subscribed to our national newsletter Leader’s Reader.
    • To download a PDF version of the introduction email (August 2014), click here.
    • To download a PDF version of the August email “Definitions and Facts,” click here.
    • To download a PDF version of the September email, “Push Factors,” click here.
    • To download a PDF version of the October email, “Needs,” click here.
    • To download a PDF version of the November email, “Advocacy”, click here.
    • To download a PDF version of the December email, “Biblical Migrants”, click here.
    • To download a PDF version of the January 2015 email, “Understanding the Executive Action”, click here.
    • To download a PDF version of the February 2015 email, “…Love them as yourself”,click here.
    • If you’re not already subscribed to the Leader’s Reader, you can subscribe only to receive the Crisis at the Border monthly emails. Use the blue “Sign Up Now” button below to do so. (Do not subscribe here if you’re already receiving Leader’s Reader.)