National Sanctuary Press Conference, January 17, 2017
Statement of Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Thank you for the opportunity to be with you on this morning. I want to share that United Methodists stand firmly with our immigrant brothers and sisters who continue to face the harsh treatment that the U.S. has given them for far too long while they labor in our fields, care for our elderly, build and clean our homes, and serve us at the tables of our favorite restaurants.
With other persons of faith and of good will we have struggled alongside the immigrant community for the reform of our broken immigration policies in this country. We have done so for decades and will continue to do so until the immigrant community is treated humanely and with justice.
This week we end the administration of a president who attempted to do the right thing for immigrants, particularly immigrant families and children, but who was stifled by a Congress too focused on its internal power struggle to care about the immigrant. And now in a few days we will inaugurate a President who demonstrates little to no understanding of the plight of immigrants or the economic and political reasons that bring immigrants to this country. President-Elect Trump’s ignorant and ill-advised plan to build a wall on our Southern border leads United Methodists to join many other persons of faith in determining that we will provide sanctuary for undocumented immigrants who fear the separation of their families through thoughtless and cruel detention and deportation and a wall.
Today, 60 United Methodist congregations are preparing to provide sanctuary for our immigrant neighbors, some of whom are our church members. We are proud that Arch United Methodist Church in Philadelphia recently took in Jose Flores Garcia, an undocumented father of 3 U.S. citizen children who is fighting to stay with his family.
Our work with immigrant families across this nation leads us to oppose any roll back of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program. It has benefited nearly 800,00 young people. One of those DACA recipients is now a United Methodist Pastor, Pastor Orlando Gallardo, whom you will hear from today.
We will not be deterred in expressing our Christian faith which calls us to offer a loving welcome and compassionate hospitality to our immigrant brothers and sisters into the sacred space of our sanctuaries.
Nos unimos en este dia con nuestros hermanos y hermanas migrantes en su lucha por justicia. La injusticia con la cual se le ha tratado al que a venido a este país por la necesidad de sobrevivir y con el deseo de contribuir al bienestar de este país merece un trato humano y merece justicia.
La situación política de este momento nos ha llevado al compromiso de proveer santuario en nuestras iglesias para el migrante que sufre. Le daremos una bienvenida con el amor de Dios. Acompañaremos a nuestros hermanos y hermanas migrantes hasta que sean tratados con respeto y justicia.