Statement from MCC: Welcoming immigrants and refugees

Welcoming immigrants and refugees
Tammy Alexander, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office

Hazel and Reuben Alexander participate in an immigration rally in front of the White House. MCC photo/Tammy Alexander.

Last week, President Trump signed three executive orders on immigration – one increasing border security and calling for the construction of a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border, another aimed at increasing deportations and other enforcement actions and a third temporarily suspending the refugee program and barring people from certain majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. All three paint a picture of immigrants as threats, criminals and a burden on society – when, in truth, immigrants contribute much to our communities, commit crimes at lower rates than their U.S.-born counterparts and benefit the economy more than they cost it in public services. Beyond the facts and statistics, numerous passages in scripture teach us to treat the “stranger” among us, not with fear and scorn, but with love and compassion.

A recent statement from Mennonite Central Committee U.S. denounces the recent executive orders and encourages a welcoming response for newcomers to the U.S.:

MCC U.S. Statement: Welcoming immigrants and refugees as neighbors
January 26, 2017

Do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.  (Zechariah 7:10)

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. decries the executive actions on immigration enforcement taken yesterday by President Trump as well as actions on refugee resettlement expected later this week. These actions portray immigrants and refugees as criminals and threats rather than seeing them as God’s beloved children.

In our society, rejection of the immigrant—“the other”—still runs deep, whether due to fear, ignorance, racism or selfishness. By building walls and turning away refugees we ignore Christ’s call to care for those in need and to love the stranger among us as we love ourselves.

Building border walls focuses on the symptoms rather than the causes of migration. As long as poverty, lack of opportunity and violent conflict push people to come to the U.S.—and, as long as opportunities, safety and family members pull people here—there will be migration. When the legal routes are either not available or severely restricted, as they are in the U.S., people will come whatever way they can. And no wall will stop them.

Read the full statement

Call the White House and Congress | Immigration resources

Michelle Milne, Nadina Cabrera, Johanna Reynolds and Sylvia Shirk participate in a vigil in Douglas, Arizona, for migrants who died in the Sonoran Desert. Photo/Al Doerksen

The border wall in Nogales, Mexico, from the Mexican side of the wall. MCC photo/Tim Hoover 2008.

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