Posted by: wantpeacework4justice | June 12, 2008

The Mennonite Central Committee’s Response to Immigration Raid

I thought that MCC’s response is a great example of compassion and faith-based activism — read on.

MCC Responds to ICE Raid in Postville, Iowa
by Tina Schrag
Mennonite Central Committee

** ** ** ** ** **

“Immigration raids aren’t the way to fix a broken immigration system.  Congress needs to enact comprehensive immigration reform.”
** ** ** ** ** **

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Central States is responding to a May 12 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid at Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa.

In the raid, 389 workers without documentation of citizenship or other legal status were captured and detained.  ICE had a caravan of buses ready to cart the people away to the National Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa for processing.  Many children were left without parents, businesses have shut down and it is unknown what the future holds for this small town in northeast Iowa.  Two churches and the school in Postville have become safe sanctuaries for people who had a family member taken in the raid.

Saulo Padilla, MCC U.S. Director for the Office on Immigration, said, “The church has the call to welcome the stranger and proclaim that any division between immigrant and native is erased; there are no borders or boundaries for us as followers of Jesus. When institutions and agencies side with the powers of the world, the church is called to side with the oppressed, the poor, stranger and the marginalized. If we fail to do this, we fail to be the church.”

MCC Central States is providing $1,000 to help cover housing and food costs for families affected by the raid through Cedar Falls Mennonite Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  Pastor Susan Janzen explained, “Our faith in Jesus Christ and commitment to following after him compels us to stand in solidarity with the people of Postville and the other immigrant populations in our community.  In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us that on judgment day God will ask us how we treated and welcomed the strangers among us.  How we respond to ‘the least of these,’ which in our context includes the immigrants detained in this raid and their families, is a sign of our faithfulness to God.”

Krista Zimmerman, the MCC Washington Office legislative associate for Domestic Affairs, adds, “Immigration raids aren’t the way to fix a broken immigration system.  Congress needs to enact comprehensive immigration reform.”  MCC Central States encourages individuals and congregations to write letters to their U.S. congressional representative and senators with a similar message.

For more information please visit the MCC Central States website.  You can make a donation to support the general immigration work of MCC U.S. online here. (select “Donate Online,” then under “designation,” choose “other,” and type “Immigration U.S.”).  Or send a check to the nearest MCC center and designate it for “Immigration U.S. Work.”

A sample letter is provided below to communicate with representatives in Congress about the need for immigration reform.

The Honorable ________________

United States Senate (House of Representatives)

Washington, DC 20510 (20515)

Dear Senator/Representative ______________,

As a voter and a constituent, I would like to draw your attention to my concerns about the present U.S. immigration system and on-going immigration “enforcement” activities. In May of this year, the U.S. government conducted an immigration raid in Postville, Iowa.  As a result, 389 workers were captured and detained.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had a caravan of buses it used to cart people away to the National Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa for processing.  Many children were left without parents, businesses shut down and it is unknown what the future holds for this small town in northeast Iowa.

Postville shows that immigration raids are an untenable approach to immigration policy making.  Raids tear apart communities and families. They introduce a “police state” atmosphere into once peaceful localities.

Christian churches in Iowa are demonstrating a different way – the way of love and reconciliation.  They are providing sanctuary to those who need it and tending to immediate needs for housing and food.  Please follow the lead set by these U.S. congregations by working to support immigration reform – instead of increased immigration enforcement.

I urge you to support immigration policies that are respectful of human rights/human life, and that provide meaningful opportunities for legal immigration – so that the rational for coercive and traumatizing raids may be significantly reduced, if not eliminated.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us that on judgment day God will ask us how we treated and welcomed the strangers among us.  I believe that how we respond to immigrants and their families is a sign of our faithfulness to God.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

 
** ** ** ** ** **

Advertisements

Responses

  1. I can’t even imagine coming to a new country to try to make a good and better life for my children only to be taken away from them. How scary for the children and the parents. It is astounding what kinds of actions our government takes and how often they are supported by the masses. Is this protection??? Taking hundreds of people away from their families for working? How crazy is that? … with all else that is going on in the world.

  2. It’s amazing

  3. The age-old pesky U.S.-Mexico border problem has taxed the resources of both countries, led to long lists of injustices, and appears to be heading only for worse troubles in the future. Guess what? The border problem can never be solved. Why? Because the border IS the problem! It’s time for a paradigm change.

    Never fear, a satisfying, comprehensive solution is within reach: the Megamerge Dissolution Solution. Simply dissolve the border along with the failed Mexican government, and megamerge the two countries under U.S. law, with mass free 2-way migration eventually equalizing the development and opportunities permanently, with justice and without racism, and without threatening U.S. sovereignty or basic principles.

    Click the url and read the details of the new paradigm for U.S.-Mexico relations.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: