Friday, July 18, 2014

Unaccompanied Children on the Border

A Plea for Local Action

The United Methodist Church proposed an interfaith weekend of prayer July 18-20 for the children and teenagers who have come across the border seeking asylum from violence at home.

Will you invite your church, mosque or synagogue to share in prayer for a just solution to this problem, one that protects these youngsters from violence and exploitation?

Here in Gainesville we can target next weekend July 25-27 giving us more time to reach out to local faith communities.

We can do it, but only with your help.

This weekend a large number of local protests are being held by anti-immigrant groups.  None of them north of Orlando.

Let's combine an interfaith weekend of prayer next weekend (July 25-27) with a public service in behalf of these children.  Sunday afternoon July 27?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Call to Prayer and Action

Thanks to Bishop Carcano and Bill Mefford from the United Methodist Church for taking the lead on the Interfaith Weekend of Compassion and Prayer for Unaccompanied Migrant Children, July 18-20, 2014.
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Civil and Human Rights

Protect the Children!
Join Bishop CarcaƱo in Praying and Acting to Protect Unaccompanied Children
As the President and Congress try to deport the immigrant children let's ensure their rights are protected!
Your church can pray for the protection of the children this weekend, July 18-20. The undocumented minors who have travelled hundreds of miles to escape the violence in their home countries need your prayers and support! The California-Pacific Conference has created some really valuable resources. Join us in prayer and action!
July 15, 2014

There are several things you and your congregation can do:

  1. Your church can pray for the protection of the children, who have travelled hundreds of miles to escape the violence in their home countries. This weekend, July 18-20, join the California-Pacific Conference in prayer and action. Cal-Pac has created some really valuable resources for you to download and don't forget to register so we know who is participating!
  2. You and your church can — no SHOULD  call your members of Congress and urge them NOT to repeal the provisions in the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). This bill was unanimously agreed to by ALLmembers of Congress. It would not return vulnerable migrants to danger and it would reduce the likelihood that the U.S. would deport children back into the hands of traffickers and others who would exploit them. Proposed changes to the TVPRA mean that children would not have a meaningful opportunity to have their story heard, apply for asylum, or be cared for humanely by child-welfare personnel. The children would be deported to potentially life-threatening situations. Congress should NOT rescind this bipartisan law at precisely the time when more children are in need of these protections.

    Call 1-888-427-0530 and ask for both your Senators and your Representative and say,
"As a United Methodist, please protect unaccompanied children and don't repeal the TVPRA!" (You can find out the names of your Senators and Representative here!)
  1. Support the work of Justice for Our Neighbors, a United Methodist Ministry, as it serves unaccompanied children. This is probably one of the most practical things you can do! You can give to support the work of JFON or, even better, you can volunteer and serve your immigrant sisters and brothers directly! Or you can do both!!
  2. Lastly, come to Washington, .DC., on Thursday, July 31, to tell the President to stop ALL deportations! Over 2 million deportations and now the President and Congress want to repeal provisions in an existing law — the TVPRA — so they can deport more! For years we have been hearing that what is needed is to simply "enforce the law." Now, we have a law in place that protects vulnerable migrants, and sadly there is agreement by both Democrats and Republicans to repeal it! This shows us that immigration policy in the United States has very little to do with reasonable policy. Rather, it is rooted in isolationism, protectionism, and detachment: all of which are antithetical to our call as Christians to love and provide hospitality for the most vulnerable.
I urge you to let me know ASAP if you can join people of faith from all over to sacrificially engage in civil disobedience in front of the White House on July 31 and urge President Obama to stop ALL deportations, whether the person is 5 years old or 105.
Let's stop the repression.
In Christ,
Bill Mefford
Director, Civil and Human Rights

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