- Immigrants & Refugees
Act in Hope this Season
Even as our hearts are broken with the constant attacks on our immigrant and refugee neighbors, we are reminded that we are an Advent people - a people of hope.
The Christmas story is an improbable one. It is a story of people who acted in courage and faith, during a time of deep uncertainty, oppression, and fear. Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men held onto hope for a better world that they could not imagine but that they trusted would come. All did their part to prepare and work to usher in this new world.
We light candles this season to remember that even in these long, dark, winter days, a new world is possible and within our grasp. We hold tight to the promise of this world and prepare for it’s coming, continuing to cry out in the face of injustice at our border and in our world.
Our nation needs light right now.
The president of the United States deployed military troops to border communities. He emboldened Border Patrol to shoot tear gas at families seeking refuge from poverty and violence. Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen approved a policy to tear children from their parents’ arms. Some families are still separated today - some children will remain permanently orphaned. Congress is still considering pouring billions more dollars into deportation, detention, and militarized border enforcement -- the very machinery that enabled these injustices.
Increased spending on unchecked enforcement means a mile of border fence that locks a migrant into a deadlier route; an additional Border Patrol agent killing a teenager in Mexico with impunity; a family behind bars while a corporation profits; a death due to medical neglect in immigrant detention.
In this season of longing, preparation and expectant hope, people of faith and good conscience must use our voices and actions to help this light be realized by Congress.
Quakers believe that within every one of us there is the infinite power of Light and Love. Our partners at the American Friends Service Committee are leading a Week of Action, December 10-18, coinciding with International Human Rights Day and International Migrants’ Day. Hundreds of faith leaders from different traditions and communities will gather around the country to witness in solidarity with the migrant caravan, border communities, and all those seeking refuge. On December 4, I shared remarks at an interfaith press conference in partnership with the Interfaith Immigration Coalition. Each faith leader called on our elected officials to reject increased detention, deportation, and border militarization ahead of December 21.
This Advent season, urge your members of Congress - yet again - to act in hope. We must not succumb to be a nation governed by fear. Together, in partnership, we can advance immigration and border enforcement policies that recognize the inherent worth in every person.