PAX CHRISTI MICHIGAN STATEMENT ON IMMIGRATION

Pax Christi Michigan (PCM) deplores the executive orders of January 25 and 27, 2017

by President Donald Trump that would, respectively: 1) construct a wall at the U.S./

Mexico border and significantly increase immigrant detention and deportation; and,

2) virtually shut down refugee admissions for 120 days, significantly reduce the number

of refugees to be admitted to the United States this year, indefinitely suspend the re-

settlement of Syrian refugees, and temporarily bar admission to the United States from

seven predominantly-Muslim countries.

 

PCM urges all Christians, their churches, and church leaders to give full attention to the

responses to these executive orders from the Committee of Migration of the U.S.

Conference of Catholic Bishops.  

 

With respect to the Mexican border, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, chair of the Committee on

Migration said, "I am disheartened that the President has prioritized building a wall on

our border with Mexico. This action will put immigrant lives needlessly in harm's way.

Instead of building walls … my brother bishops and I will continue to follow the example of Pope Francis. We will ‘look to build bridges between people, bridges that allow us to break down the walls of exclusion and exploitation.'"

 

Regarding the halt and reduction of admissions from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Bishop Vásquez stated, “We strongly disagree with the executive order's halting refugee admissions. We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope." 

 

PCM is concerned about the xenophobia reflected in these executive orders, and particularly with the anti-Muslim bias reflected in the president’s January 27 edict. We encourage PCM members and others to support the rights of refugees, migrants and immigrants by: calling, writing and/or visiting Congress to lobby for immigration reform; participating in demonstrations, vigils and prayer services; exploring sanctuary strategies; providing legal assistance; providing food, clothing and shelter; assisting with assimilation into American culture, including jobs and language skills; and, working for the reversal of the president’s executive orders.

 

In the clearest possible Biblical language, Jesus instructs us to welcome immigrants, "I was a stranger and you invited me in." Today, when powerful forces in our nation urge anti-immigrant fear and seem ready to deny help to the most vulnerable immigrants, it is our obligation to live our faith fearlessly. We must see support for aliens in our midst as an opportunity to model for fellow Americans, especially those who do not share our faith, the love and beauty at the core of the Gospels.. 

 

As Pope Francis said, “You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian.  You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25.  It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help.  If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite…..All nations must focus on service to the poorest, the sick, those who have abandoned their homelands in search of a better future for themselves and their families.  In putting ourselves at the service of the neediest, we will experience that we already are united; it is God’s mercy that unites us.”

 

We conclude with the words of Bishop Vásquez:

“We will continue to support and stand in solidarity with immigrant families. We remind our communities and our nation that these families have intrinsic value as children of God. And to all those impacted by {these} decisions, we are here to walk with you and accompany you on this journey.”

 Pax Christi Michigan State Council - February 2017

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REFUGEE COUNCIL USA - WORLD REFUGEE DAY MATERIALS

CLICK HERE FOR THE: World Refugee Day Advocacy Toolkit
 

This toolkit will provide information for doing local congressional visits, inviting elected officials to your World Refugee Day events, and ways to build champions for refugee protection & resettlement.  Learn more and download the toolkit.

 

List of Nationwide Events

 

Refugees Welcome Campaign

  • Faith communities from multiple backgrounds, refugee resettlement organizations, refugee and human rights leaders, and organizations that work with refugees have formed a partnership to provide a vibrant welcome to refugees among us, and to encourage our country to continue to respond to the world’s crisis by offering hospitality to most vulnerable refugees in need.  Visit the Refugees Welcome campaign website to join the movement, learn more about hosting your own events to welcome refugees, and celebrate refugees' community contributions. Check out the welcome resources for more information.


Social Media

  • Use the hashtags #WRD2018, #RefugeesWelcome, #WhereRtheRefugees, and #WithRefugees so we can all see the great events and information sharing happening across the country. 


State Specific Data 

  • Additional state specific information about refugees to help educate others and use for advocacy is available here

 

World Refugee Day Call-in Week 2018 will take place from Monday, June 18th - Friday, June 22nd.

You can help!:

  • Plan a Visit with your Members of Congress In-District During May Recess (May 28-June 1)

  • Host Refugees Welcome Events & Dinners

  • Write Opinion Editorials for Local Media Outlets

  • Urge State & Local Lawmakers to Introduce World Refugee Day Resolutions

  • Call Congress & Join the National Call In Week

  • Amplify on Social Media

  • Devote a Worship Service to Refugees

More Resources

Pax Christi Michigan

We invite you to contact us to learn more about us, discuss forming or joining a local Pax Christi groups, and/or answer any questions you may have about Pax Christi activities. Feel free to call or e-mail us.  Blessings and peace to you!

Telephone : 517-481-5280

Email : PaxChristi.Mi@gmail.com

Our Office is housed in Cristo Rey Church:

              201 W. Miller Rd.;

              Lansing, MI  48911-4639

 

© 2020 by Pax Christi Michigan.

All rights reserved.

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