July 2018 Prayer Partner Message
Last month, I had the opportunity to travel to Tornillo, Texas, along the U.S.-Mexico border. I was there, outside of a large processing facility holding children who had either been separated from their parents or arrived without parents at the border, when I learned that the president had signed an executive order halting the controversial process of separating families at the border.
I’m very grateful that so many Americans, including many Christians, raised their voices about this very troubling policy, and I believe this executive order came about in large part in response to your advocacy and your prayers.
While families are not actively being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border any longer, though, it is not the time to stop advocating or praying. After a federal judge ordered the federal government to reunite these families within one month, most were reunited, but more than 700 were not, including many whose parents have been deported without their children.
Among those who have been reunited, most now face the likelihood of deportation back to the countries they fled—where many have expressed that they fear violence—because their odds of having their requests for asylum granted were significantly decreased by a recent decision by the Attorney General to restrict the definition of who qualifies for asylum. And going forward, one of the proposed alternatives to separating families who arrive at the border to request asylum is to keep families detained together until their court appearances, which in some cases could be months or even years.
As I’ve read and listened to some of the reports about these children, I’m heartbroken by what they’ve suffered, and I can’t help but think of my own children. I try, as I grip my kids tighter than normal, to let this remind me to pray. I’d ask you to join me in praying:
- For each of the children who have been separated from their parents, that God would sustain and provide for them and reunite those still apart from their parents as quickly as possible, while healing the trauma of all who have been affected by this ordeal
- For parents separated from their children, that God would comfort them, strengthen them and reunite them to their kids as quickly as possible
- For those who are returned to a country where they face threats of violence, that God would protect them and that these underlying situations of violence in countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala would change for the better
- For all of our governmental officials, including the President, the Attorney General, the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Health Human Services, and each Member of Congress, that they would have wisdom and courage to pursue just policies
- For federal judges and those in the judicial branch, who are reviewing these decisions and in some cases issuing orders, that they would do what is within their authority to keep families together and to protect the welfare of children
- For other immigrant families who are divided as a result of other immigration policy issues, whether deportation, the slow rate of refugee resettlement, or those waiting in long backlogs for family reunification visas, that God would provide for and be present with both those in the U.S. and their loved ones abroad
National Coordinator, Evangelical Immigration Table
P.S. To learn more about the family separation issue, check out this guide created by our friends at the Welcome. campaign.