Statement in Support of Ministry with Detained & Separated Families
The Western Jurisdiction Immigration Task Force’s mission is to help equip our Annual Conferences to be in ministry with their immigrant and migrant neighbors. At the southern border of our jurisdiction, families are being detained and broken apart in pursuit of an immigration policy that United Methodist denominational leaders have named to be cruel and unjust.
The General Secretary of our General Board of Church and Society, Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, said: “Our United Methodist Social Principles and Resolution #3281 are clear: we support policies that compassionately welcome immigrants & respect their human rights. Policies that jail families, whether separately or together, fail to reflect our shared values of compassion, dignity, justice & love.”
Bishop Minerva Carcaño of our California-Nevada Annual Conference and episcopal representative to the Western Jurisdiction Immigration Task Force, laments that “our broken immigration policies and even more, our immoral response to immigrant children in perilous danger, are disgraceful reflections of a nation that has lost a part of its soul.”
The Western Jurisdiction Immigration Task Force uncompromisingly rejects the forced separation of children from their families. United Methodists are called to mourn, and to act, when we encounter a child being taken away from their family. We reject any effort to label a human being “illegal.” Every person is of infinite and sacred worth, and bears the image of a God who would have us treat with kindness and love. We oppose our government’s “zero tolerance policy” towards immigrants and migrants. It has resulted in the internment of families who in many cases have come to our border seeking safety from violence and deprivation. The criminalization of the asylum process is unconscionable, and we affirm the rights of people who fear domestic violence and gang violence to seek asylum in the United States.
Accompanying this release, you will find A Call to Prayer on the 4th of July, an invitation for all United Methodists of the jurisdiction to join our hearts, minds, and voices in prayer for our immigrant and migrant neighbors. You will also find A Prayer of Confession for use by United Methodists of the Western Jurisdiction in our various worship services over the coming week. Finally, you will find links to resources in each of our Annual Conferences that can guide you to make a difference in your community. The challenge of working for peace with justice can seem insurmountable, but know that you do not work alone. Together, United Methodists have made and will continue to make a difference in the lives of our immigrant and migrant neighbors.
Yours in Christ,
The Members of the Western Jurisdiction Immigration Task Force