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Let My People Go: Family Separation at the Border

When large numbers of people cross borders to flee persecution, war, and disaster, they are considered refugees in the world’s eyes, and many nations build refugee camps or absorb migrating people, helping families resettle and educate the children. In the United States, our tendency has been to treat migrants as criminals violating our international boundaries, especially at our border with Mexico.

In the past two weeks, the Department of Justice has taken the deeply troubling step of separating migrant children from their parents at border crossings and putting those children in detention facilities. This policy is intended to horrify and deter migrants. Approximately 2,000 children have been taken from their parents in the past two weeks and put in detention centers, including in San Diego.

As Christians in the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, we are appalled by this practice of separating children from their parents. This cruel and inhumane treatment can cause long-lasting physical and emotional injury to children, according to the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association.

In addition, it is morally indefensible. In Hebrew and Christian Holy Scriptures, we are enjoined again and again to love the resident aliens and strangers and treat them as our own, to extend hospitality, and to share our resources with them, for we recognize that all that we have is a gift from God. We also are charged with paying special attention to the most vulnerable in our community.

Children are some of the most vulnerable members of society, and they need their families’ love as well as our care and attention. We Episcopalians join with many other people of good will across the United States in asking the government to return migrant children to their parents immediately and to allow migrants to process asylum claims or to unite migrant children with family members in the United States.

Finally, we call upon Congress and our Administration to overhaul our immigration system to relieve the suffering of all those who have been harmed by our policies.

Episcopal Public Policy Network of California

Signed in cooperation by these Episcopal bishops in California and border dioceses:

The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus
Bishop, Diocese of California

The Rt. Rev. Barry L. Beisner
Bishop, Diocese of Northern California

The Rt. Rev. Diane Jardine Bruce
Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of Los Angeles

The Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves
Bishop, Diocese of El Camino Real

The Rev. Canon Michael Hunn
Canon to the Presiding Bishop
Bishop-Elect, Diocese of Rio Grande

The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Bishop Assisting, Diocese of San Diego

The Rt. Rev. David Rice
Bishop, Diocese of San Joaquin

The Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor
Bishop, Diocese of Los Angeles

The Rt. Rev. Michael Vono
Bishop, Diocese of Rio Grande

The Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith
Bishop, Diocese of Arizona


“You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 22:21

Press Conference on Friday, June 22 @ 11 a.m. at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, 7488 Calzada De La Fuente, San Diego, 92154. The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori and Senator Kamala Harris will speak.

Interfaith Prayer Service & Call to Action on Friday, June 22 @ 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 2020 Alaquinas Dr., San Ysidro.

March & Rally  on Saturday, June 23 @ 1 p.m.
This event is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego and the Pacific Institute for Community Organization of California (PICO).

Candlelight Vigil on Saturday, June 23 after the 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. march at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, 7488 Calzada De La Fuente, San Diego, 92154. Join hundreds of leaders for an evening candlelight vigil in the family separation zone.

Families Belong Together March on Saturday, June 23, 10 a.m. San Diego Civic Center, 202 C Street, San Diego, CA 92101.

Families Belong Together on Saturday, June 30 @11 a.m.


Online Resources from the Church’s Office of Government Relations

Asylum Update

Contact your Representatives

Presiding Bishop’s Statement on Family Separation

Vox article about the Trump administration’s separation of families

Interfaith Toolkit to Stop Family Separation

World Refugee Day Information

Fight Separation at the Border

ACLU Petition: Separating Families is Inhumane

ACLU Petition: Stop Government from Abusing Immigrant Children

If you hear of more resources, please send them to Hannah Wilder , 619-481-5456.

Prayer for the Oppressed

Look with compassion, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Deja ir a Mi Pueblo

Una declaración sobre la separación de familias

Cuando un gran número de personas cruzan las fronteras huyendo de la persecución, la guerra y el desastre, se les considera refugiados a los ojos del mundo y muchas naciones construyen campos para refugiados o acogen a las personas migrantes, ayudando a las familias a reubicar y educar a los niños. En los Estados Unidos, nuestra tendencia ha sido tratar a los inmigrantes como delincuentes que violan nuestras fronteras internacionales, especialmente en nuestra frontera con México.

En las últimas dos semanas, el Departamento de Justicia ha tomado el paso profundamente preocupante de separar a los niños migrantes de sus padres en los cruces fronterizos y poner a esos niños en centros de detención. Esta política tiene la intención de horrorizar y disuadir a los migrantes. Aproximadamente 2,000 niños han sido separados de sus padres en las últimas dos semanas y puestos en centros de detención, incluso en San Diego.

Como cristianos en el Movimiento de Jesús de la Iglesia Episcopal, estamos consternados con esta práctica de separar a los niños de sus padres. Este tratamiento cruel e inhumano puede causar lesiones físicas y emocionales de largo alcance en los niños, según la Asociación Americana de Médicos y la Asociación Psicológica Americana.

Además de ser moralmente indefendible. En las Sagradas Escrituras hebreas y cristianas, se nos ordena una y otra vez amar a los extranjeros y extraños residentes y tratarlos como si fueran nuestros, a extender la hospitalidad y compartir nuestros recursos con ellos, porque reconocemos que todo lo que tenemos es un regalo de Dios. También estamos encargados de prestar especial atención a los más vulnerables de nuestra comunidad.

Los niños son algunos de los miembros más vulnerables de la sociedad y necesitan el amor de sus familias, así como nuestro cuidado y atención. Los Episcopales nos unimos a muchas otras personas de buena voluntad en todo los Estados Unidos para pedirle al gobierno que devuelva hijos migrantes a sus padres de inmediato y para permitir que los migrantes tramiten solicitudes de asilo o para unir a niños migrantes con familiares en los Estados Unidos.

Finalmente, llamamos al Congreso y a nuestra Administración a revisar nuestro sistema de inmigración para aliviar el sufrimiento de todos aquellos que han sido perjudicados por nuestras políticas.

La Red de Políticas Públicas Episcopales de California

La Reverendísima Katharine Jefferts Schori
Obispa Asistente, Diócesis de San Diego<

El Reverendísimo Barry L. Beisner
Obispo, Diócesis del Norte de California

La Reverendísima Diane Jardine Bruce
Obispa Suffragan, Diócesis del Los Angeles

La Reverendísima Mary Gray-Reeves
Obispa, Diócesis del Camino Real

El Reverendísimo Michael Hunn
Obispo, Diócesis de Rio Grande

El Reverendísimo David Rice
Obispo, Diócesis de San Joaquin

El Reverendísimo John Harvey Taylor
Obispo, Diócesis de Los Angeles

El Reverendísimo Michael Vono
Obispo, Diócesis de Rio Grande

El Reverendísimo Kirk Smith
Obispo, Diócesis del Arizona


Category: #Advocacy, #Bishop's Blog, #Communications, #Repentance & Reconciliation, #Sundays

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