We have been witness to unspeakable heartbreak over the last few weeks as more and more evidence comes to light about children taken from their families at the border and housed in detention centers in old Walmart stores or growing tent cities.
Places to Donate and Volunteer
Churches are Encouraged to hold
Prayer Vigil for Family Unity
“We continue to encourage Episcopalians and all people of faith to call on the U.S. Congress to end harsh and harmful immigration policies and to pass bipartisan, comprehensive reform that recognizes the dignity of every person,” said Rebecca Linder Blachly, director of the Episcopal Church’s office of government relations.
Episcopal Office of Government Relations
Ways to Participate
- Participate in the virtual vigil via Facebook Live
- Submit prayers via email or social media to be read at the vigil, or attend in person if you're in D.C.
- Engage on Social Media with #KeepFamiliesTogether
- Share educational resources and the action alert from the Episcopal Public Policy Network (@TheEPPN)
- Start a vigil of your own in your parish or outside your representative’s office
Reclaiming Jesus: “Suffer Little Children: The separation of immigrant children from their parents is not biblical” and Reclaiming Jesus video.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s AM Joy appearance Topic: “Sessions misuses bible to justify separating children from migrant parents”
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell Topic: “Religious leaders: Call Trump’s family separation for what it is – sin”
Family Separation and Asylum
- The Office of Government Relations held an all-day Interfaith Vigil for Family Unity on Thursday, June 21. We encourage our parishes to plan their own vigils.
- Action Alert: Call your Member of Congress: to Stop Family Separation; Defend Access to Asylum
- Interfaith Toolkit to Stop Family Separation and Protect Family Unity
Talking Points and Guidance for Correspondence with Elected Representatives:
- The Administration is systematically separating families to cruelly punish vulnerable populations and deter others from asking for protection in the United States. Families that are separated are often unable to find each other, speak, or be reunited; some may be deported without each other. This is wrong and must end.
- Most of the parents being separated from their children are asylum seekers. It is legal for these persons to seek asylum in the U.S.
- They are not just separating kids from parents who are criminally prosecuted after crossing the border. They are also ripping kids away from parents who legally sought protection at border crossings.
- These persons are facing extreme violence and poverty in their home countries. You cannot deter someone who is facing death. We should be meeting these persons with compassion. We recognize the need for sensible border security, but detaining children and their parents indiscriminately does not make our country safer.
- It’s not just happening at the border. Trump is breaking up families in our neighborhoods. Immigrant parents and caregivers who have lived in the country for decades and have U.S. citizen children are being forcibly taken away, leaving a trail of countless American children without their mothers and fathers
- From the toddlers at the border to Dreamers losing DACA and American-born children of immigrant parents being separated, these policies are impacting families across the U.S.
Talk about values
Focus on the administration’s choice
Discuss the perspective and impact on children & families
Dismiss all House legislation and focus on the administration’s choice
Use terms like “immoral,” and contrast this practice with American values and our historical commitment to stop actions like this
Say “children are being separated from their parents”
Make this about America
Personalize immigrant families: toddlers torn from their mother’s arms, people seeking asylum, husbands separated from wives,
Talk about the legal process
Focus on parents’ or families’ choices
Discuss the legal status of parents
Talk about any legislative fix or discuss any House bill as a “compromise”
Use language that could trigger a legal response such as “undocumented” or “legal right”
Say “unaccompanied minors”
Make this about Trump
Say “asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, etc”