Call the White House to Stop the Breakup of Families
On Saturday, April 12, the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego and the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles will join together in the third annual Called to the Wall event, a procession of the Stations of the Cross from Los Angeles to the US-Mexico international border in San Diego. At the end of our procession, we will celebrate the Eucharist through the border fence. Our pilgrimage is a reminder of Jesus’ walk to Jerusalem and the cross. It is also a call to heed Jesus’ message of unity and a call to act on behalf of the vulnerable and voiceless.
All God’s people deserve lives of health and dignity. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which many parents fail to put enough food on the table for their children, and struggle to keep their kids safe from crime and political violence. Since our nation’s founding, millions of immigrants have come to the US seeking better lives for their families. But given the broken state of our immigration system, more than 11.5 million now live here without proper authorization.
Christians are reminded of the Bible’s call to welcome the stranger among us and to care for the least and lost as if they were our own. These unauthorized immigrants are our neighbors, co-workers and friends. They strengthen our economy. They pay taxes. Their children are American citizens who dream the same dreams as our own. God hopes they, and all people, live thriving lives of abundance and peace with their families and friends in the place they call home.
Comprehensive immigration reform is sorely needed, but we may need to wait longer still for such a political consensus to emerge. In the short term, there is more that President Obama could do to keep families together and calm the deportation fears rippling through our immigrant communities today.
In Christ’s name and as chief pastor of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, I call upon President Obama to immediately:
- Stop indiscriminate, mass deportations that break up families and terrorize whole communities of immigrants, and
- Broaden the existing deportation deferral program beyond young people (aged 15-35).
Please consider calling the White House at (202) 456-1111 to share this urgent message with the president.
Keeping parents with their children is something we can all support. We cannot let the poorest and most vulnerable of our brethren be punished for our nation’s political deadlock on immigration reform.
Thank you in advance for your assistance. In a very real way, this is how we can live out our diocesan vision: undeterred by borders or barriers, we are pilgrims with Jesus in relentlessly searching for others to befriend, know and invite to Christ’s Eucharistic table of reconciliation and sacrificial love.