Immigration and Refugees

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Immigration Definitions

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Social Justice Agency of The United Methodist Church

Stands With Immigrants & Refugees

Rejects policies that deny dignity and worth

The General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church calls upon all policy makers to work for just and compassionate migration policies that affirm the worth, dignity, and inherent value and rights of all persons regardless of nationality or legal status. (2016 Book of Resolutions, #3281 “Welcoming the Migrant to the United States”)

Supportive of churches offering sanctuary to migrants, Church and Society is especially concerned about the explicit targeting of communities determined to help those in need. Such policies are antithetical to the life and teaching of Jesus Christ and will not be celebrated as progress.

“As followers of Jesus, we reject in the strongest terms efforts to expand the U.S.-Mexico border wall, penalize communities providing sanctuary, halt refugee resettlement or impose a religious test for those facing forced migration,” said the Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society.

“Immigrants and refugees sit in our pews and are behind the pulpit. United Methodists around the world are loving their neighbors by welcoming refugees and immigrants into their congregations and communities,” Henry-Crowe continued. “We call on our political leaders and policy makers to follow their lead and compassionately welcome our sisters and brothers.”

The General Board of Church and Society is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. The board is called to seek the implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements of the General Conference on Christian social concerns.

The American Immigration Council has released Giving the Facts a Fighting Chance: Addressing Common Questions on Immigration. This guide seeks to provide answers to many of the most common questions that policymakers, the media and the public ask about immigration and provides background on what immigration means to the United States. The guide delves into a wide range of issues including the economic benefits of immigration, the high cost and diminishing returns of enforcement-only approaches, the various roles states play in immigration policy and the importance of additional due-process protections for those in immigration court.

Welcome the Stranger Video

Globally, nearly 60 million people have been forcibly displaced. In Germany, about 965,000 people have sought asylum, with many refugees from the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere, taking hazardous and expensive journeys for peace, safety and refuge.

Watch “Welcome the Stranger,” a video reflection highlighting the journeys of two Syrian refugees who have found hope in Messstetten, Germany, through the compassionate response of community and local churches. Meditate on scripture references that motivate the church to look after the stranger.

For further reflection, watch “Beyond Bethlehem,” and listen to the plight of refugees affected by ongoing conflict. This short film was jointly produced by UMCOR, Global Ministries, Ginghamsburg UMC, The United Methodist Publishing House and United Methodist Communications.

Published by The UMCOR Hotline for December 16, 2015.