A Faithful Response to Child Detention at the US/Mexico Border
We believe in a God of love, mercy and justice for all people. We hear the cries of families, and the fragments of families, and the shattering of hearts at the US/Mexico border. And we feel the pull of the Holy Spirit to respond.
It is our prayer for all children that they might have the health, safety, strength and opportunity to live lives of fullness and hope. The separation of families at our southern border, and the mistreatment of over 13,000 children currently imprisoned in federal custody, is deplorable and heart-breaking. I feel sick thinking of children - many younger than my own - sleeping on a concrete floor, with limited access to water, suffering from untreated illnesses, with no one to care for them, let alone love them. Dietrich Bonhoffer wrote: "Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." As people of faith we cannot stand for this mess any longer. And there are many things we can do, today, right now, to bring an end to the abominable treatment of these refugee, immigrant and asylum-seeking families.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Write, email or call your Representative. In an article in yesterday's The Atlantic immigration attorney Elora Mukherjee calls for "immediate Congressional hearings on the appalling conditions at the border..." She urges every American to "reach out to Congress and demand an investigation about the conditions to which detained children are being subject". Click here to locate contact information for your representative.
You can also sign this UCC petition and ask Congress to not invest any more money in policies that fuel and feed the administration's efforts to increase border militarization and continue terrorizing immigrants.
Donate for Legal Services/Fees
RAICES is a nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. Through their Family Reunification Program RAICES is working with the Texas Civil Rights Project to identify the families being separated at the border and track down the parents of children in detention. RAICES' largest program provides free legal information, referrals and direct representation for unaccompanied children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Given their proximity to the U.S. Mexico border, RAICES Children's Program provides services to thousands of children each year. Go to https://www.raicestexas.org/donate/ to donate directly to RAICES. Old South will be contributing our collection from the July 4th "Thoughtful Patriotism" service to RAICES.
Demonstrate Against Detention Camps on July 12 at 7 p.m.
Demonstrations will be happening nationwide on July 12, at detention facilities across the country. The local Boston demonstration will be a candle light vigil, holding up lights against the atrocities happening at the border and in our own neighborhoods. The Boston event is will be held at 7pm on July 12th at 20 Bradston St., the ICE detention center where Old South often goes for vigils through the Sanctuary Coalition. You can meet us there, or gather at Old South to travel as a group at 6:30pm. Please let us know if you would like to travel over together by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We cannot sit by and watch this abuse and neglect continue. Now is the time to act and to speak. The care of children is not a partisan issue. It is a moral and ethical issue. May the work of our hands, and the work of our hearts, bring hope, healing and transformation.