From the Episcopal Public Policy Network – Support Unaccompanied Immigrant Children
“We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, and as a Church, we are asking the United States government to support such a response, grounded in justice and the fundamental dignity of every human being.”
The Presiding Bishop and leaders across The Episcopal Church are calling for a compassionate response to Central American children and families- answer their call and take action today!
Without your voice, President Obama and members of both chambers of Congress are poised to push forward with proposals that will repeal protections for unaccompanied children fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, making it easier to deport them back to three of the most violent countries on earth.
This is wrong. We must not deny children access to protection and peace at the moment when they need it most. As Reverend Gay Jennings reminds us, “Christians worship a child who fled from violence in his home country… Just like parents in Central America who are sending their children away, Mary and Joseph took great risks so their son could survive.”
The HUMANE Act and other proposals seek to change the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), which passed both chambers of Congress by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President Bush in 2008. If changes to this law are pushed through Congress, children will lose their opportunity to have their story heard, apply for asylum, or be cared for by child welfare personnel as they pursue their protection claim. Instead, they would face deportation to potentially life-threatening situations at the hands of traffickers and gangs. We already treat Mexican children this way, and the dangers facing these children upon their deportation has been well documented.
“People come to the United States from faraway places for many reasons. Some come to escape persecution. Others come in search of freedom. Many come in search of a better life. Some are oppressed. Some are displaced by war,” writes Bishop Stacy Sauls, noting the diversity and complexity of all migration flows. There is urgency before our nation to act and action at the highest levels of government is needed to respond to this humanitarian crisis, but in our rush to act we must be careful that we do not abandon sound policy and humanitarian values along the way.
As Bishop Mathes of San Diego reminds us, in our response we “must not lose our great goodness, heart and national soul. As happens in so many troubled places on our planet, the vulnerable and endangered are at our border – our nation’s doorstep – pleading for help.”
Share this message of great goodness and heart today –
ask your members of Congress and the President to reject changes to the TVPRA when vulnerable children need it most.
Please contact Katie Conway, Immigration and Refugee Policy Analyst, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information