Have you been wondering what is really going on at the southern U.S. border and how you can help? Below is information about how not only Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is responding, but also the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a whole.
PDA is working with the Presbyteries in the states along the border to provide financial assistance to support humanitarian efforts. Our primary concerns are 1) to help the parents find their children and to get the parents reunified, which often means also advocating for the parents’ release and 2) providing legal rights information and assistance to asylum seekers to be able to make their asylum claim. We have already sent initial grants to Pacific Presbytery to support the work of Al Otro Lado and to De Cristo Presbytery to support The Florence Project.
There are also some organizations and churches working on the Mexico side of the border to provide housing, food, etc. and we are talking with World Mission and the Presbyterian border ministries about how to provide support there.
People can donate to PDA’s US Refugee Emergencies Account DR000095 to help us expand our assistance.
Mission Presbytery is active through their Immigration Task Force and as part of the Interfaith Welcome Coalition in San Antonio in monitoring the situation and coordinating their local response. We will be sending them an initial response grant soon.
Both Mission and Pacific Presbyteries are organizing groups to travel to the border.
Recently PDA convened a meeting with representatives from many of the Presbyteries and the Synods along the southwestern borders to share what we all know and to act in a coordinated response. We will continue to meet via conference calls in the coming weeks.
The Office of Public Witness has put together a new Grassroots Toolkit with input from our office. You can find it here: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/opw/2018/06/19/end-family-separation-decriminalize-migration-grassroots-took-kit/
PDA is working closely with the PCUSA Immigration Issues Office and the Office of Public Witness to keep on top of legislative advocacy and mobilizing efforts across the country. Links to some of these are included in the toolkit mentioned above.
We are witnessing a coming together of people across political and theological divides to speak out against this inhumane treatment of children.
Here is a statement released by the Stated Clerk on Saturday, June 16th: https://www.pcusa.org/news/2018/6/16/stated-clerk-issues-statement-separated-immigrant-/
How You Can Help
- Share educational materials and accurate information with your church, Presbytery and friends. So that they understand the real situation.
- Guided by your own conscience, we invite you to join the PCUSA advocacy alerts to speak up to end the separation of families and the criminalization of migrants/asylum seekers.
- NRT Refugee Ministry Team members will be deployed to help our local partners. Please pray for them.
- Encourage people to contribute to PDA to support recognized partner organizations. Even if the President ends these policies, it will take weeks and months for the families to reunite, even longer to go through the legal process and to recover emotionally and spiritually.
- Show your neighbors that We Choose Welcome with a yard sign
- Please pray for the families and children, our siblings in Christ, that they may find safety, be reunified and find healing and comfort. And pray for our government leaders that their hearts may be touched and their eyes be open to the suffering being inflicted by their policies
- Stay updated via our website and social media (twitter, facebook).