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

Albany Presbytery Immigration Network Co-Coordinators:

The network maintains an email list for sharing immigration news and events. Sign up by contacting either of the coordinators.

Newsletters
Upcoming Events

UPCOMING EVENTS

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, National Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice; joined by Willie Baptist of the Kairos Center
Saturday, March 16, 6:30 pm
First Presbyterian Church, 362 State St., Albany.
2019 Lamar Lecture: “The New and Unsettling Force: An Uprising of the Poor and Working Class.”
$10 suggested donation to benefit the Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS. Childcare provided. Sponsored by the Lamar fund of the First Presbyterian Church, Albany.
Click here for more information

CHANGE OF DATE AND VENUE!
Dispatches from the Border: The Reality of the Asylum Process on the US-Mexico Border
*New Date* – Monday, March 4, 7:00 pm
Davis Auditorium, Palamountain Hall, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs.
Presentation by Diana Barnes, Saratoga Immigration Coalition  member and Skidmore faculty member, based on her recent volunteer work at the Texas border.  Co-sponsored by Political Science Department, Skidmore College; and Saratoga Immigration Coalition. Facebook

Monday, March 4, 7:00 PM: Green Light NY Drivers License community forum. 
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 4 Northcrest Drive, Clifton Park, NY. 
Learn about legislation to make drivers licenses accessible to all state residents, regardless of immigration status. See also March 12 below. Co-sponsored by Saratoga Immigration Coalition, Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, ICE-Free Capital District, Labor-Religion Coalition of New York.
Flyer. Facebook.

Monday, March 11, Noon-2:00 PM, PROPOSED meeting of the Albany Presbytery Immigration Network
PNEC church, 24 Circular Street, Saratoga Springs.
Program will include a review of 2019 legislative priorities identified by the New York Immigration Coalition, with discussion of how we and our congregations can help.
RSVP to tdiggory@skidmore.edu, including general comments/objections about timing, venue, etc.  If we get enough pushback (or not enough commitments), we will change the date!
 
Monday, March 11, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM: Immigration Detention in New York
Albany Law School, 80 New Scotland Avenue, 2000 Building, 3rd Floor, Boardroom
Panelists will discuss a new report released by the Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative examining the impact of ICE detention on immigrant New Yorkers and the various efforts to support those held within those walls.
Flyer  Register here
 
Tuesday, March 12: Green Light NY Drivers License campaign
Mobilization day at the Capitol in Albany.  See also March 4 above. Flyer.  FacebookSign up here

Wednesday, March 13, noon, Dutcher Community Room, Saratoga Springs Public Library. Immigrants’ Rights presentation with representatives of the Legal Project and Ssratoga Immigration Coalition.  A SaratogaReads event.  

Saturday, March 16, 6:30 PM: Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, National Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice; joined by Willie Baptist of the Kairos Center.
First Presbyterian Church, 362 State St., Albany.
2019 Lamar Lecture: “The New and Unsettling Force: An Uprising of the Poor and Working Class.”  RSVP.   Facebook.
$10 suggested donation to benefit the Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS. Childcare provided. Sponsored by the Lamar fund of the First Presbyterian Church, Albany.
 
Saturday, March 30, 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm: African Spring Dinner
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 85 Chestnut St. Albany, NY 12210
Dish-to-Pass Dinner
Keynote Speaker at 6:15 pm: Hon. Paul Tonko, Member of Congress since 2009
“Update from Washington”
Transforming the Lives of Children in Ghana, Liberia & Sierra Leone
Kindly respond by March 26: 518-436-8544 office@wpcalbany.org
Sign-up online. Give online
Checks payable to: Westminster Church (“African Dinner” in the memo line).
 
Crossing the Border: The New York Times has launched a new “limited-run” email newsletter exploring individual lives at the Southwestern border.  Sign up here

Sisters Stand and Walk Together
A new series of leadership classes begins in April
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN has extended to all women a program originally designed to acclimate and motivate new immigrant women from congregations within the Synod of the Northeast.
Registration is now open.
Meetings are held on Long Island but financial assistance and help with transportation are available. See details posted on
Albany Presbytery website.

JESUS AT THE BORDER: Stations of the Cross, 2019
A series of art works by Mary Button, can be viewed
at her website.

ONGOING FREE ENGLISH CLASSES IN ALBANY


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.