The Diocese of NC Responds to Recent Reports of Child Detention Conditions on U.S. Border
By Diocesan House
The Diocese of North Carolina has been involved in work surrounding immigrant support and advocacy for years. We’ve listened to the stories, welcomed the refugees, celebrated small victories and wept at heartbreak. You would think by this time there would be little that could surprise us on this subject.
We were wrong.
Like so many of you, we were shocked when recent news stories revealed the living conditions and treatment of migrant children separated from their families and detained along the southern U.S. border. Housed in overcrowded prison-like circumstances, children have reportedly been deprived access to basic necessities like food, clothing, bedding, medical care and deprived of opportunities to maintain hygiene.
We understand there are many opinions throughout our Diocese on the subject of immigration. We respect that, though we hope we can all agree that no child deserves to endure what these children have been asked to endure. Children are innocent, and what has been done to them is both unethical and immoral.
As always at times like this, we are asked “what can we do?” On the immediate front, our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande are collecting diapers and soap, food and clothing to take to the children in detention centers, working with Border Patrol to ensure the donations are accepted and delivered. If you would like to donate to those efforts, we encourage you to visit the Diocese of Rio Grande website and contact them directly for more information.
We also encourage you to stay current on the subject of immigration and what you can do. Next Tuesday, July 2 at 3:30p.m. (ET), the Episcopal Public Policy Network and Episcopal Migration Ministries is hosting a webinar, “Listen & Learn: Border Advocacy and Ministry.” Featuring the Rt. Rev. Michael Hunn, bishop of the Diocese of the Rio Grande, the webinar will cover advocacy and tangible ministry actions of the Church along with other ways to get involved. There is no cost to attend, though registration is required.
The Episcopal Public Policy Network and Episcopal Migration Ministries are both excellent resources on ways you can stay up-to-date, involved and engaged. We encourage you to visit both organizations’ websites and connect with them on social media or by signing up for their newsletters and updates.
As always, we encourage you to contact your local government representatives to ensure your voice is heard, as we continue working with other partners to try and identify the most effective ways of responding both in the short- and long-term.
And last but never least, we ask that you join us in continuing to pray for those who seek asylum, those working to grant it, those working to care for those in distress, lawmakers who have the power to repair a broken system, and for all of us to continue to keep love in our hearts for every one of our brothers and sisters. May we truly be an embodiment of loving our neighbors – wherever they may be – as we love ourselves.
Update on actions by The Episcopal Church
Read Bishop Michael Hunn’s recent article in the Sojourner
Diocesan resources on immigration and advocacy