Wider View Archive

No safety here

September 20, 2019 Tammy Alexander

  On July 16, the Trump administration released a new regulation requiring asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border to have requested asylum, and been denied, in at least one country they traveled through before asking for asylum in the U.S. (The rule does not apply to Mexican asylum seekers who do not need to travel through a third country to get to the U.S.) The new rule was immediately challenged in federal court and temporarily halted. However, on September 11, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the regulation to go into effect while lawsuits in lower courts continue. Lee Gelernt, […]

A migrant’s journey starts in Central America: U.S. immigration policy should too

September 6, 2019 Kate Parsons

  When people hear “immigration policy,” many think immediately about border security, detention and asylum. While it is crucial to advocate in these areas – supporting asylum seekers, protecting children and keeping families together – we shouldn’t forget that people’s migration stories start long before their arrival in the United States. Most immigrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border today are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, a region sometimes referred to as the “Northern Triangle.” These countries are among the most violent in the world, with high levels of poverty, inequality and government corruption.   El Salvador Guatemala Honduras United […]

The urgency before us: A call for collaborative effort towards DR Congo

August 16, 2019 Charles Kwuelum

Charline Kavugho shared the news that she and her two-year-old son, Jonathan, had been declared free of the Ebola virus, 17 days after her husband Gerome Kanyitondi died of an Ebola infection. Kanyitondi had been a pastor for the Community of Baptist Churches in Central Africa (CBCA). Kavugho was sharing her testimony with the Church of Christ of Congo’s Ministry of Refugees and Emergencies (ECC MERU), a partner organization of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). She had been willing to undergo an infection prevention and control process, at a time when many in the community are distrustful of health care personnel. […]

C-262: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

August 9, 2019 Thirdway

In a letter to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in January of 1985, MCC Chairman Ross Nigh wrote a letter encouraging the government “not to allow any major industrial projects without prior settlement of the land claims. We would also want these settlements to proceed by negotiation rather than imposition, without requiring the extinguishment of claims to aboriginal rights.” In 1999, in a letter to Jane Stewart, then Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, concerning hydro-electric developments on the lands of the Pimickimak Cree Nation, MCC Canada wrote, “We are concerned that the hydro-electricity we have used to power our homes […]

Tear down these walls

August 2, 2019 Eliza Mull

Humanity’s fixation with walls can be traced back to the world’s first recorded civilization – the Sumerians, who built a border wall circa 2100 B.C. – and is seen repeatedly throughout history in examples such as the Great Wall of China, the Long Walls of Athens and the Berlin Wall. Walls typically symbolize a power imbalance: Constructed by a dominant group, walls often block or suppress a weaker adversary, reinforce unjust policies and lead to human rights violations. Today, the U.S.-built wall just north of the U.S.-Mexico border serves as a formidable “No Admittance” sign but fails to be a […]

When playing soccer is no longer safe

In April, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was playing soccer near his home in Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. Suddenly an Israeli soldier arrested him and took him to a nearby police station where he was interrogated and accused of throwing stones. After six weeks in Ofer Prison and a fine of $840, the teen was finally released. Unfortunately, this story happens all too often in the West Bank. At any given time, Israel is holding about 200 Palestinian children in military detention. Human rights organizations report that three out of four of these children experience some form of physical violence. […]

The power of storytelling in advocacy

July 12, 2019 Thirdway

I hadn’t ever considered myself an “advocate” per se. Maybe I had always seen advocacy work suited for fiery, passionate people with loud voices and strong opinions. Personally, I have always felt a bit envious of those with strong opinions; I have always held mine rather loosely. I am usually one to empathize with both sides of an argument, sometimes to a fault. With that said, recent developments in my professional life, including joining the Canadian Advocacy Network (CAN) at MCC have made for an interesting and encouraging experience. My colleagues on the CAN are, unlike me, well-seasoned advocates and […]

Caring for creation and the vulnerable: Considerations for a tax on carbon

July 8, 2019 Thirdway

Clara Weybright is a Climate Advocacy Intern in the MCC U.S. Washington Office, through the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions.   Climate change affects all of us around the world, but especially the most socially and economically vulnerable. Even as many of us grieve for the damage we have done to our planet and to each other and make changes to our personal behavior, we must also seek policy changes to address the impacts of climate change. Carbon pricing has been proposed as one possible way to mitigate the carbon emissions that cause climate change. Carbon pricing schemes include a […]

How do we respond to the stranger at our gate?

June 28, 2019 Thirdway

originally published on MCC Ottawa Notebook ON MAY 29, 2019 What is a Christian response to migration? While on a day to day basis, I tend to deal with the nuts and bolts issues of refugee resettlement and Canadian and international policy related to it, I regularly ask myself that question. Migration issues call for these sorts of reflections because there is a moral aspect to them. The issues around migration and forced displacement are, at the heart, issues of national sovereignty, community identity and defining who is in and who is out. As citizens of the Kingdom of God […]

The power of an education

  In 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the crime bill, in an attempt to be tough on crime. The bill included an amendment to ban Pell Grants for incarcerated students. As a result the number of education programs within prisons fell from over 350 in 1990 to only 12 in 2005 . The lack of educational opportunities within prisons adds to the obstacles for returning citizens as they are released, including difficulty in finding a job. This can feed into the cycle of poverty and homelessness and increases recidivism rates […]