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

MIGRANT CHILDREN IN GOVERNMENT CUSTODY

The April 8 panel at Skidmore College, co-sponsored by the Albany Presbytery Immigration Network, was covered in a front-page article in the Times Union on April 10, which includes a “What You Can Do” sidebar. Other suggestions for what you can do may be found in:

GREEN LIGHT NY DRIVERS LICENSE CAMPAIGN  

  • A legislative briefing took place at the State Capitol in Albany on April 10, hosted by the bill’s chief sponsors, Senator Luis Sepúlveda and Assembly Member Marcos Crespo.  Among the data sheets presented was an important reminder that US citizen children are affected when their immigrant parents are unable to obtain driver’s licenses.
  • A New York Times editorial recently endorsed the legislation.
  • Constituents of State Assembly Member John McDonald (District 108):  Please consider responding to the survey posted on his website.  Apparently he is genuinely undecided about whether to vote for Green Light Drivers License legislation and he wants to be guided by his constituents.  See Times Union story here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday, April 26, 7:00 pm: Free Screening of “Icebox”
Emmanuel Baptist Church, 275 State Street, Albany.
Sponsored by Capital District Border Watch and Amnesty International.
Contact Carrie Kuehl: 518-453-0545; kuehlcarrie@gmail.com. Flyer.

Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 pm: “Immigrant Stories: In Their Own Words: The Refugee Experience”
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs. Sponsored by Saratoga Immigration Coalition.
Contact Saratoga Immigration Coalition: 518-306-1313; saratogaimmigration@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 22, 6:00 pm: Immigration Panel
The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, 318 Central Avenue, Albany.
NYCLU Capital Region Chapter Annual Membership Meeting.
Contact Melanie Trimble: 518.436.8594; mtrimble@nyclu.org. Flyer.

Sisters Stand and Walk Together
A new series of leadership classes has begun, but there is still time to join us!
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.

GHANA VISAS DENIED
Our friends at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany, with many congregants from Ghana, have shared their concern over reports that the US State Department is denying visas to Ghanaian citizens in retaliation for lack of cooperation with deportation orders, as the State Department sees it.  See the report here.  

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

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.