October 2018 Prayer Partner Message
Dear Prayer Partners,
A few months ago, as stories of children being separated from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border as a result of a new “zero tolerance” policy dominated the news headlines, we asked you to pray for these children and their parents.
I’m writing this month with a reminder to please continue to pray for those affected. While many of these families have now been reunited in response to a judicial order, they are still likely dealing with the trauma of the separation. Furthermore, a number of these families remain separated, in most cases because the parents have been deported but children remain in the protection of the federal government.
I’m also concerned that one of the government’s responses to this situation has been to propose gutting the longstanding legal protection known as the Flores agreement, which regulates the circumstances in which children can be held in an immigrant detention facility. Whether on their own or with their parents, such facilities are almost never a healthy environment for children, especially for long periods of time, so I’m deeply troubled by proposed changes to the Flores agreement that would remove restrictions on how long children can be detained. For a more thorough analysis of what these changes would mean, you can read this summary from our friends at the National Immigration Forum.
I invite you to pray with me:
- For children and parents who remain separated, that they would be reunited in safe situations
- For healing of those children and parents who have faced emotional, psychological or spiritual suffering as a result of the experience of separation
- For wisdom for policymakers as they seek solutions to complex challenges of immigration policy
- For an end to the underlying issues, including gang violence and hunger, that have forced so many families to flee their countries in the first place
Please also consider advocating for these children by formally submitting comments expressing your concerns over the proposed changes to the Flores agreement. The federal government has invited citizens to share their responses to the proposed changes that would make it easier for the government to detain children. You can submit comments through an easy-to-use form set up by the National Immigration Forum here, or directly at regulations.gov. Every comment submitted helps underline the moral imperative for our nation to do a better job of caring for children. I’ve personally shared my opposition to these proposed changes and urge our government to find more humane responses to these heartbreaking situations.
Jo Anne Lyon
General Superintendent Emerita and Ambassador
The Wesleyan Church