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Michigan unites for migrant families


The Michigan Conference Board of Justice calls for action on separation of migrant families.

The Michigan Conference Board of Justice (formerly Detroit Conference Board of Advocacy, Justice, and Equity and West Michigan Board of Church and Society) has issued a Faith in Action Alert listing five action steps for support of migrant families entering the U.S.

Issued by co-chairpersons the Rev. George Covintree and the Rev. Amee Paparella, the alert begins: “Our hearts break at the photos and news stories of children and their parents pulled apart and separated at the southwestern borders.”

Citing the New York Times, “A 5-year-old-migrant’s-heartache: when will I see my papa?”, the Board decries the break-up of hundreds of migrant families in the first two weeks of the zero-tolerance policy of the current administration. “638 parents who arrived with 658 children had been prosecuted. This one little boy is in foster care, somewhere in Michigan. His father is in jail in Texas. And our hearts break.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics is also quoted as condemning immigrant family separation and family detention as “harsh and counter-productive.” The practice is also noted as a violation of The United Nations children’s rights and international law. The Board offers a reminder that the United Methodist Social Principles state that “we have a special responsibility, individually and collectively, to protect children.”

“While many in this country hold a variety of opinions regarding immigration,” Covintree and Paparella state, “a policy that seek to use, exploit, and terrorize children as a means to discourage their families from coming to our borders to claim asylum is clearly against Christian belief and practice.”

Action Steps include:

  1. Prayer
  2. Education
  3. Writing legislators and newspapers
  4. Sharing stories
  5. Telling others


For more go to National Justice For Our Neighbors; the Council of Bishop’s statement against family separation, and the United Methodist Women statement against parent-child separation.

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