ACTION ALERT: Advocate for more humane policies at the heart of immigration talks

migration icon action alert bufferAs lawmakers make headway on major pieces of legislation in Washington D.C., many troubling changes to immigration law continue turning up—much to the alarm of U.S. and international church companions and partners at the fore of helping their communities. On Feb. 13., Senators advanced an emergency supplemental funding bill (H.R. 815) for national security that initially included multiple harmful immigration provisions. The House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 2) which calls for broad changes to immigration law focusing on detention, deportation, and limiting asylum access. The U.S. immigration system is broken, and it needs to be fixed, but these measures take us backwards. We need Congress to find a way forward without endangering the right to seek asylum.

International human rights law and U.S. law says that people fleeing personal danger and persecution have the right to seek asylum in the United States. In recent times, the arrival of newcomers has brought challenges, while highlighting the resourcefulness of the communities who step up to help their neighbors. Many of the proposals in Congress run up high costs while being harmful to asylum seekers and other immigrants. For example, the supplemental initially proposed gutting access to asylum, accelerating deportations of asylum seekers, and creating a new border expulsion power. A more effective coordination of federal, state, and local resources so that cities are better equipped to receive newcomers would make an immediate difference. Collaboration is essential to reach solutions that lead us forward to more compassionate, just, and wise decision-making.

The ELCA recognizes that the most effective way to reduce migration pressures in the long run is by addressing the desperation that is pushing people out of their communities. This priority continues to shape the ELCA AMMPARO strategy, which calls for renewed attention to the conditions in countries of origin as well as conditions on the migrant journey and places where migrants settle down, like many U.S. cities.

The ELCA social message on “Immigration” reminds us "that hospitality for the uprooted is a way to live out the biblical call to love the neighbor in response to God's love in Jesus Christ” (p .3). In 2009, the ELCA approved a social policy resolution “Toward Compassionate, Just, and Wise immigration Reform” (CA09.11.71) with guidance which still rings true today. The ELCA stipulates that immigration enforcement must be “humane.”

Congress must reject harmful law changes and should opt instead for bold policies that uphold fairness and due process across the immigration system; seek wise investments that enhance coordination across all levels of government; and recommit to addressing the drivers of migration. 

The United States has long been recognized for providing safety and hope for the displaced. Current immigration talks propose harmful changes to immigration law. 

Customize the following message with your experience and convictions.

Thank you for your advocacy.

POSTED: 1/24/24, UPDATED 2/15/24

Provide your contact information below so that our system may ensure proper delivery to your Congressional representatives. You will be able to preview and customize the message on the next screen before it is sent.