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:
- Terry Diggory firstname.lastname@example.org 518-860-0262
- Rev. Gusti Newquist email@example.com 518-272-2771
The network maintains an email list for sharing immigration news and events. Sign up by contacting either of the coordinators.
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – August 2, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – July 24, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – June 13, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – May 16, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – April 17, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – April 5, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – March 22, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – February 28, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – February 22, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – February 9, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – February 2, 2019
- Albany Presbytery Immigration Network News – January 18, 2019
CITIZENSHIP PREPARATION CLASSES
Beginning Wednesday, August 14, free, weekly 2-hour citizenship preparation classes.
USCRI Office, 99 Pine St., Albany. To register call Sara Zaidspiner at 518-459-1790, ext. 8009. Flyer.
October 11-14, 2019: “Learn and Discern: Accompaniment and Peacebuilding in Colombia and the US/Mexico Borderlands”
A program of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
If you feel you may be called to accompany peaceful people threatened by violence, direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or complete preliminary questionnaire here.
GREEN LIGHT NY DRIVERS LICENSE LEGISLATION passes in the NY Assembly
New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), of which Albany Presbytery is a member, urges supporters to call Deputy Majority leader Sen. Gianaris at (518) 455-3468, Majority Leader Sen. Stewart-Cousins at (518) 455-2585, and Gov. Cuomo at (518) 474-8390 to ask them to use their political power to push this legislation forward in the State Senate.
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.
JESUS AT THE BORDER: Stations of the Cross, 2019
A series of art works by Mary Button, can be viewed at her website.
The Albany Presbytery has demonstrated commitment to issues related to providing sanctuary to those in need…
- Resolution for Protection and Hospitality for Syrian Refugees – November 2015
- Resolution Against Violence and Vengeance – April 2016
- Resolution on a Way Forward in Angry and Anxious Times – February 2017
- Sanctuary Training, Albany Presbytery March 2017 – March 2017
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
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:
- The 220th General Assembly (2012)
On taking action concerning the place and plight of immigrant people (both documented and undocumented)
- The 220th General Assembly (2012)
Resolution on the plight of immigrant people in our neighborhoods and communities of faith
- The 222th General Assembly (2016)
Resolution Reaffirming the Ministry of Sanctuary by Congregations
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:
- County Office – “Who should I contact to advocate? Who are the elected officials for my area?” County Office is a quick reference guide for accurate, up-to-date information about all government offices and public records sources in your local area.
- Office of the General Assembly: Advocacy
- Advocacy Page on the Albany Presbytery website
- The National Sanctuary Movement also has a number of resources, including their congregational toolkit.
- Welcome and the Law a Resource from the Office of the General Assembly legal department
- Travel Information post March 2017 information from the Office of the General Assembly legal department
- Know your Rights from the ACLU
- How to make a Family Care and Safety plan
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
- How can you help: The World at our Doorstep – Welcoming the Stranger by Sharon Denney Lobel
- Article: Building Credit History as an Immigrant or International Student
- Article: 9 credit-building tips for US immigrants
- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
- Columbia County Sanctuary Movement
- New Sanctuary for Immigrants of the Capital District
- Rural & Migrant Ministry – Albany Presbytery Mission Partner
- Menu of Hope: A resource guide for individuals, congregations, and other institutions that are looking for ways to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters. The Menu is now available to download online or for print orders.
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.