Category : Immigration
My favorite story from last week on a program matches immigrant and refugee families that are new to Pittsburgh
amily unity is among the biggest factors for American evangelicals advocating for immigration reform; it comes up in almost every statement, prayer, and open letter rallying believers around the cause.
Despite the pleas from top evangelical leaders—including some of President Donald Trump’s advisers—to protect the family unit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this week that all adults caught by Border Patrol would be prosecuted as criminals while their children would be separated and treated as if they entered the US as unaccompanied minors.
“I have put in place a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for illegal entry on our Southwest border. If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,” he said on Monday in San Diego, where a caravan of migrants, many of them mothers and children, had arrived a week before.
From CTmagazine: RT Rondell_Trevino: Honored to contribute to this .CTmagazine article critiquing new policy that separates Immigrant children from asylum seeking parents from Central America.
When policies focus on separating families, then this shoul… https://t.co/lViWRA8Hkz
— Carol Flohr Giles (@giles_carol) May 11, 2018
Britain invited these West Indian citizens from the Caribbean after the economic devastation of WWII to join the labour force.
As has been pointed out, at that time the UK was not part of the EU but of the worldwide family of nations known as the Empire. The migrants who came were in fact British subjects: that was their constitutional identity in relation the UK.
They arrived here as to the mother country of the British Empire, not as strangers, and they were shocked that in many areas they were faced with racist abuse. They wanted to integrate into society, back then a Christian society in many ways.
They filled vacant jobs and proved vital in helping rebuild war-ravaged Britain. So now, when we hear that their children are suffering government pressure to ‘go home’, as if illegal immigrants, it is shocking news. Furthermore, papers certifying the status of these second-generation Windrush invitees have been destroyed by the Home Office.
As this horror story was coming out the heads of the Commonwealth were meeting – it could not have been a more sensitive moment: the family of nations continuing from the British Empire must have been truly upset by British behaviour towards their people who were nothing but loyal and hard-working citizens. Individual stories of people being denied health care or threatened with deportation brought home the real unpleasantness they have had to face.
From the Christian angle this kind of treatment is simply wrong and needs to be reversed and compensated for, whatever the origins of the victims. But in this case we are talking about a population of often deeply Christian people, fellow members of the Body of Christ.
(NYT Op-ed) Alex von Tunzelmann–The recent Windrush failure shows how the Empire still Haunts Britain
Hostility to immigration in Britain was a significant force driving the vote to leave the European Union, yet prominent Brexiteers are often sensitive to the charge that any part of their movement is inward-looking, xenophobic or racist. Many of them have recently rushed to condemn the treatment of the Windrush generation. Even the Daily Mail, a newspaper that regularly publishes scare stories about immigrants, splashed it on the front page as “Fiasco that shames Britain.”
Yet this is not an accidental fiasco but the intended outcome of Britain’s draconian and Byzantine immigration policy. Moreover, rather than being an upset, the treatment of the Windrush generation is all too consistent with Britain’s historical attitude toward those former colonies and dominions that supposedly make up its “family.”
The Commonwealth comprises 53 nations, most of which were once British-ruled, and 2.4 billion people, 94 percent of whom live in Africa and Asia. It is supposedly based on a common language, institutions and values — though, given its size and diversity, the commonality of those values is debatable. Its head is the Queen. In 2002, Boris Johnson, now the foreign minister but then a journalist, wrote: “It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies.” The line is still often quoted for its offensive language; it is less commonly observed that Mr. Johnson was taking a swipe at the monarch for indulging the Commonwealth partly as a vanity project.
Is the Commonwealth more than that?
After pressure from campaigners, the Prime Minister was forced into a U-turn this week after she initially refused to meet Caribbean leaders to discuss the plight of the “Windrush generation” — a reference to the ship Empire Windrush, which, in 1948, brought workers from the West Indies to Britain — who face deportation despite living in Britain for decades…
Thousands of people from the Caribbean, including children who travelled under their parent’s passport, made their home in Britain between 1948 and 1971. Owing to a lack of paperwork, many children of the Windrush generation have struggled to prove that they are in the UK legally, and have faced the prospect of deportation and the suspension of benefits or access to health services.
In a meeting on Tuesday, Theresa May apologised to the 12 Caribbean heads of government for the treatment of the Windrush citizens, and promised that no one would be deported.
(PRC) Europe’s Growing Muslim Population–Muslims are projected to increase as a share of Europe’s population–even with no future migration
In recent years, Europe has experienced a record influx of asylum seekers fleeing conflicts in Syria and other predominantly Muslim countries. This wave of Muslim migrants has prompted debate about immigration and security policies in numerous countries and has raised questions about the current and future number of Muslims in Europe.
To see how the size of Europe’s Muslim population may change in the coming decades, Pew Research Center has modeled three scenarios that vary depending on future levels of migration. These are not efforts to predict what will happen in the future, but rather a set of projections about what could happen under different circumstances.
The baseline for all three scenarios is the Muslim population in Europe (defined here as the 28 countries presently in the European Union, plus Norway and Switzerland) as of mid-2016, estimated at 25.8 million (4.9% of the overall population) – up from 19.5 million (3.8%) in 2010.
More than a million people have fled South Sudan for Uganda. 📻https://t.co/zH5EMMVQWu
— BBC World Service (@bbcworldservice) August 18, 2017
Uganda is now hosting more than one million refugees who have fled civil war in neighbouring South Sudan, according to the United Nations. The conflict in the world’s newest country has created Africa’s biggest refugee crisis in more than twenty years, and women and children represent 85% of those who’ve crossed the border. BBC reporter Catherine Byaruhanga tells BBC Minute about Uganda’s unique system for welcoming refugees.
Listen to it all (60 seconds).
The economic and prayer engine powering Valentin’s ministry is an unmarked storefront where visitors enter through a back door in an industrial alley, the only door with a welcome mat.
Mario’s church, Ministerio a la Luz de la Palabra, is in East Compton, where the paint fades and weeds push unopposed through the sidewalks. The congregation leases, for a steal, a strip-mall theater that had all but burned to the ground before volunteers gutted it in 2008 and remade it into a house of worship.
It’s the sixth location in 20 years for the Assemblies of God church, common for majority-immigrant churches buffeted by Southern California’s atmospheric real estate prices. “We can’t keep one zip code,” Mario said. By his estimate, 90 percent of his 200-member congregation is undocumented, mostly from El Salvador and Mexico. The average household income is $20,000. Four families own homes.
Mario, 44, holds a doctor of ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and likens his church to the church in Antioch, scattered by persecution but serving neighbors near and far. It has fueled the ministries in El Salvador while simultaneously developing local outreach efforts. The church’s food bank draws a line of beneficiaries stretching down the alley every Saturday. “The weird thing is, we don’t have money,” he said. “If we’re here, it’s because the Lord opened the door for us to be here.”
Sensing an opportunity Hamdi set off to the small village of New Berlin, New York, to have a look. There he found the last employees of the last plant in the area closing it down.
Hamdi Ulukaya: I remember like yesterday. It’s like this sadness in this whole place. Like as if somebody died, like, somebody important died.
Steve Kroft: Two hundred jobs?
Hamdi Ulukaya: Two hundred jobs was gone.
Former employees Frank Price, Maria Wilcox and Rich Lake were among the mourners that day.
Rich Lake: Your whole livelihood’s gone. You don’t really know what you’re gonna do or where you’re gonna go….
As if Western politics were not volatile enough, a wave of recent elections seemed to offer contradictory evidence as to whether populism is advancing or receding.
It triumphed in the British vote to leave the European Union and in the American presidential race, fell short in the Dutch elections, and won its greatest-ever success in France’s first presidential round and faces likely humiliation in the second round.
But these results may not be as contradictory as they seem. Populism, research suggests, has been steadily growing since the 1960s. It is now reaching a size that is often too small to win outright, but is large enough to shape and, at times, to upend the politics of a country.
Whether populist parties win or lose depends not just on the level of popular support — which appears surprisingly consistent across countries — but also on the nature of the political system.
“It has to do with the fact that the evangelical church is in touch with Christian churches in the Muslim world. More than any other religious group, they’re hearing the horror stories,” said Cashin, the CIU professor, who has seen three of his friends and colleagues martyred as they attempted to bring the gospel to Muslim-majority nations. “For that reason, they tend to respond more negatively to the faith of Islam.”
Many associate the violent acts of ISIS extremists, who target Christians and other religious minorities, with Islam itself. In a LifeWay Research survey, slightly more than half of evangelical pastors saw ISIS as a true indication of what Islamic society looks like. They also disagreed with the notion that “true Islam creates a peaceful society.”
Warren Larson, former director of the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies, called such beliefs “very damaging for ministry and mission among Muslims.” The survey statistics indicating Christians’ negative attitudes towards Muslims have played out in his experience among believers.
First, evangelicals have been involved with refugee resettlement for a long time and in a lot of churches. Many evangelical leaders have advocated for refugees, from all different faiths, for years. They know the program, and they know the refugees — and they know it’s safe and a good way to show the love of Christ.
Second, evangelical leaders, knowing the facts, are emboldened to speak when alternative facts may be holding sway elsewhere, particularly when those alternative facts are hurting the most vulnerable. In the Christian tradition, we call that speaking prophetically — like prophets in what Christians call the Old Testament, we have to sometimes speak to our own people and remind them of what is right.
Third, many evangelical leaders have had an uneasy connection with the Trump administration. Yes, they know that white evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for President Trump, and many strongly agree with Trump’s stated concerns about religious liberty, the Supreme Court, and more. But they want — and even need — room to disagree with a president who has said and done many things contrary to their beliefs. Speaking up for refugees is one of the areas where many believe they can.
Read it all from Vox.
Last week’s announcement from government that it will close the route opened for some of the most vulnerable refugee children to Britain by Lord Dubs falls far short of our better selves and the example set by those before us.
The route was opened by Lord Dubs to enable a safe passage to Britain for the most vulnerable refugee children. His amendment last year drew exceptionally wide cross-party and public support. Lord Dubs was himself a survivor of the Kindertransport efforts to save Jewish children fleeing the Nazis on the eve of the Second World War.
Those efforts typified something of the best in us. A steadfast and quiet determination to protect children and the most vulnerable and to do so in time when the threat is urgent.
ore than 500 conservative evangelical pastors and leaders representing all 50 states are urging President Donald Trump to reverse his temporary ban on refugee resettlement and his “dramatic reduction” of the total America will accept this fiscal year.
The open letter, published Wednesday as a full-page ad in The Washington Post with more than 100 of the signatories listed, was notable for two reasons. First, it contained only conservative evangelicals, instead of the mix of progressive names that usually sign such open letters. And second, topping the list were Tim Keller and Max Lucado””two well-known and well-respected pastors and authors who rarely speak out on political matters.
Other key signatories include Kathy Keller, Willow Creek’s Bill and Lynne Hybels, authors Stuart and Jill Briscoe, author Ann Voskamp, Southern Baptist seminary president Daniel Akin, and pastors Joel Hunter and Derwin Gray, among many others [full ad available in the linked article].
Read it all from CT.
“As Christians, we have a historic call expressed over two thousand years, to serve the suffering. We cannot abandon this call now.”
The evangelical leaders acknowledge the world is dangerous, adding that they “affirm the crucial role of government in protecting us from harm and in setting in terms on refugee admissions.”
“However, compassion and security can coexist, as they have for decades,” the ad says. “For the persecuted and suffering, every day matters; every delay is a crushing blow to hope.”
“While we are eager to welcome persecuted Christians, we also welcome vulnerable Muslims and people of other faiths or no faith at all,” the ad says.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.