PC(USA) Immigration & Sanctuary Resources

Going back to at least 1984, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has expressed concern for the plight of immigrant peoples in the United States, has advocated for compassionate care of immigrants and their families, and has encouraged actions to change immigration policies in the United States.

Albany Presbytery Immigration Network

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Upcoming Events

SEPTEMBER 20-21: SYNOD ANTI-RACISM TRAINING, ALBANY (Desmond Hotel and Conference Center)

The Synod of the Northeast will once again be hosting Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing & Training to facilitate a seminar on race and dismantling racism. This event is offered in conjunction with the Synod Assembly but it is open to everyone in the Synod community, regardless of whether you’re attending the Assembly itself or not—and it is free. Registration deadline: August 24.  More details and registration link here.

ONGOING FREE ENGLISH CLASSES IN ALBANY

IMMIGRANTS DETAINED AT ALBANY COUNTY JAIL

  1. New York Immigration Coalition report available here.
  2. Underclothing donations needed: See Amazon Wish List here.
    IMPORTANT: be sure to change the delivery option when you check out to the address of The Legal Project.

The Legal Project
24 Aviation Road, Suite 101
Albany, NY 12205

They will deliver to the jail. Please do NOT bring things to them, or to the jail; there are 300 men and 50 women to clothe.

Urgent Appeal for Lawyers and Interpreters

Albany County Jail has taken in a sudden influx of immigrants detained at the Mexican border. Click here for more information.

Needed:

  • Pro bono attorneys/accredited reps
  • Interpreters

The purpose of the interviews will be to identify potential forms of immigration relief available. Interviews will take place on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays at the Albany County Jail. Visiting hour time periods are 8 – 11 am; 12 – 2:15 am; 3:30 – 5 am; and 6 – 9:30 am.

Other ways you can help:

  • Offer to prepare a meal for families of volunteers
  • Can you provide childcare for families of volunteers?

Can you help? Need more information:

Contact [email protected] (cc: [email protected])  with your availability, any immigration law experience, any languages you speak, or any other assistance you can offer.


The Albany Presbytery has demonstrated commitment to issues related to providing sanctuary to those in need…

Immigration Action Network

The PC(USA) Synod of the Northeast has established Immigration Action Network to provide support and resources for individuals, congregations, and presbyteries to become educated about and involved in this timely, important issue.  You may find out more here: Immigration Action Network

Sanctuary

The concept of “sanctuary” is at least as old as biblical times, when there were Cities of Refuge established throughout ancient Israel.  Many people in the Church today are wrestling with the need for, and the complex issues involved in, declaring their congregation to be a “sanctuary church.”  Here is a webpage that offers important and helpful resources about this question: Office of the General Assembly: Sanctuary

Sanctuary – A Discernment Guide for Congregations
Provided by the Office of Public Witness of the PC(USA), this guide gives background on Sanctuary, provides theological grounding for involvement in the movement in a way that is based in solidarity instead of charity, and key discernment questions for congregations to find a starting place in the work.

We currently have a congregation in Albany Presbytery who is serving as a Sanctuary Church.  For more information, please read: Saratoga Springs Church Prepares Sanctuary for Immigrants by Terry Diggory


General Assembly Resolutions

Here are several documents that relate to this question:


Advocacy

Advocacy can take the some of the following forms:

  • inquiring about programs that involve local law enforcement in enforcing federal immigration laws
  • contacting your legislators to urge them to take action on immigration
  • direct service in partnership with local immigrant communities
  • education on immigration issues
  • Sanctuary or Sanctuary-in-the-Streets
  • direct actions at immigration facilities
  • providing care to immigrants, immigrant families, and/or people called to advocacy and acting on behalf of immigrants (e.g. providing child care, meals, pastoral care, etc.)

Be creative, prayerful and discern how, as a community, God is calling you to respond to the needs of our communities. For information about advocacy in this area, a number of resources are available here:


Office of Immigration Issues of the General Assembly

The webapge for the Office of Immigration Issues of the General Assembly, which has links to a great number of resources (as is updated frequently) can be found here: Office of Immigration Issues of the General Assembly

Albany Presbytery is an official member New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) community.  You can find more information at:

Additional Local Resources

The Genesis of Exodus

This is a new resource from the Office of the General Assembly investigating the root causes of migration, the full documentary will be available in July 2017.  The trailer can be viewed below and follow this link to the full resource kit.

If you know of other resources to be added to this page, please contact Kim Deal, Communications Manager, Albany Presbytery.