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Six years ago, Hilda Ramírez arrived in the United States with her seven-year-old son, Ivan, after fleeing Guatemala. She spent a year in a Texas detention center, where she led women on a hunger strike. Four years ago, she and her son were offered Sanctuary at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Austin, where they remain even as they face deportation and fines in the tens of thousands of dollars.
In the coming days, Presbyterians have multiple ways to show their support for refugees in the United States and abroad, including attending a virtual town hall on Thursday.
New Castle Presbytery’s mission statement condenses the Matthew 25 invitation into 13 words: “Sparked by grace to transform the church for the good of the world.”
As reports of inhumane conditions in child detention facilities near the United States-Mexico border surfaced over the weekend, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) staff working on immigration and asylum issues, like many observers, were shocked and saddened.
An international Christian delegation to the Mexico-United States border led by the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) is calling for radical reforms to address not only the causes of migration but the way in which migrants are treated on their journey.
Rather than trusting media or government versions of what’s going on along the U.S.-Mexico border, Presbyterians are better of engaging with people and partners in the trenches of the immigration issue.
En lugar de confiar en los medios de comunicación o las versiones del gobierno sobre lo que está pasando en la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México, es mejor que el pueblo presbiteriano dialogue con las personas y asociados que laboran en la cuestión de la inmigración.
At a critical juncture in the dialogue around immigration policies, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is working to shift the narrative from a legal perspective to a human one.
EL PASO. As we move through traffic, I think how much we must seem like ants scrambling to find space as they rush through each other. I am back in City, and each time I come here I am struck by how dense and congested this city is. Just when I think not another person could fit in, more houses are built on precarious mountainsides or on the margins now gobbled up by urban sprawl. It sends me back to another image: Fathers sharing their first warm meal with their children in weeks.