The FAN staff is heartbroken by the ongoing humanitarian crisis at our border and with potential ICE raids across the country. Many have asked what they can do to help our immigrant sisters and brothers. All actions start with prayer. But as Christians and Franciscans we are called to do more. After praying here are some suggestions on what to do next:
- Educate yourself and educate others
Recently, Sr. Marge Wissman, a sister of St. Francis of Oldenburg, IN and FAN board member, went with several others to the border town of Laredo, TX to help at asylee processing center there. We encourage you to read about her very personal experiences and look at the many photos of people she encountered on this blog post. You can share her post via Facebook and Twitter.
In response to the President’s threat that his administration was preparing to deport “millions” of immigrants, FAN issued this statement, decrying the rhetoric used to instil fear in many immigrant communities. Additionally, the Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, issued this statement urging a “focus on the root causes in Central America that have compelled so many to leave their homes…”.
- Call your members of Congress
Our members of Congress need to hear from us on a regular basis. Calling them weekly is one of the most important actions constituents can take. Let them know that you are outraged by the humanitarian crisis on the border and by ICE raiding our communities. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121. Use this Interfaith Congressional Recess Toolkit with the top 5 ways to take action.
- Take Action
Lights for Liberty is a coalition hosting candlelight vigils all over the country on Friday, July 12th. Grab a candle and find a vigil near you.
The Washington Post reported in an article on July 21st that “[ICE] is planning to use hotel rooms as temporary staging areas to detain parents and children until all the members of a family are together and ready for deportation.” This petition is a call to all major hotel chains to publicly commit that they won’t be help facilitate mass round-ups of our immigrant neighbors. Please take a moment to sign.
Sr. Norma and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley is in need of support at their Humanitarian Respite Center. (Be sure to indicate as such in the dropdown.) You can also find additional organizations to donate to here.
Br. Juan Turcios, OFM is working with immigrants on both sides of the Southern US border in partnership with the School Sisters of Notre Dame. For those who wish to support their ministry financially, checks should be made payable to:
School Sisters of Notre Dame. Please write “Immigrant Support” on the memo line.
School Sisters of Notre Dame
C/O Sr. Judy Bourg, SSND
1047 E. 10th St.
Douglas, AZ 85607
- Additional Resources
It was reported the deportation raids have been delayed two weeks to allow for negotiations on Capitol Hill regarding immigration reform. Many organizations prepared emergency response resources for immigrant communities and their advocates. Here are a few:
- The Justice for Immigrants resource page
- The National Council of Jewish Women
- HIAS has developed this video which includes stories from people who have been granted asylum in the United States; some historical context for our asylum system and much more.
- Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv. Statement on ICE Raids
- Families Belong Together Statements from Kids in Detention Centers
- CLINIC Legal Rapid Response Toolkit
- Interfaith Immigration Coalition Congressional Recess Toolkit