Immigration justice is one of the core justice ministries of the Wisconsin Conference. Congregations and individuals throughout the state are working to put our faith value of loving our immigrant neighbors as ourselves into practice by educating ourselves about immigration justice issues, advocating for immigrants and just immigration policies, and acting to support our immigrant neighbors with our time, our talent, and our donations.
Immigrant Welcoming Conference / Immigration Working Group
The Wisconsin Conference is an Immigrant Welcoming Conference. To learn more about what this means and how your congregation and you can get involved in immigration justice work, including accessing recordings of numerous online workshops: Immigrant Welcoming Conference page.
Staying up to date on the ever-changing landscape of migration is a challenge. The Immigration Working Group encourages people interested in the most current information, especially on issues around asylum seekers and our southern border, to check out the websites of these trusted organizations:
For information on the Welcome Corps, the new-in-2023 program to welcome refugees through private sponsorship: https://welcomecorps.org/
Responding to the migrant bus emergency
Migrants to our southern border are being bused (and in some cases, flown) to sanctuary cities and other locations. To learn more about this ongoing humanitarian crisis, including ways that you and your congregation can respond, access these UCC resources:
- Read this September 15, 2022 UCC press release for an excellent description of the crisis and some responses to it.
- Download the UCC Team Global HOPE’s Migrant bus toolkit and take action on its suggestions!
- Noel Andersen of the UCC National Collaborative on Immigration shared this on October 4, 2022: As the UCC, we are walking in solidarity by accompanying asylum seekers and advocating for a robust humane reception system, joining partner non-profit and mutual aid organizations in key regions who are greeting immigrants and asylum seekers. Contact your elected leaders to urge their support for welcoming people seeking protection and safety.
Afghan Adjustment Act advocacy (September 30, 2022)
- Information on the Afghan Adjustment Act from the Evacuate Our Allies
- Urge your legislators to support this bipartisan, bicameral legislation:
- Link through Veterans for American Ideals
- Link through Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Information about the Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2023 (shared by Noel Andersen)
Although the official press release describes the refugee admissions target of 125,000 for the fiscal year as “ambitious”, Church World Service and others had called on the Biden Administration to set a resettlement goal of 200,000, accompanied by investments to strengthen the resettlement program. It should be noted that in Fiscal Year 2023, only about a fifth of the admissions goal, also 125,000, was met through US Refugee Admissions Program, although an additional 105,000 Afghans and Ukrainians were welcomed through humanitarian parole.
UCC Refugee and Migration Ministries hosted a video series in July, 2022, “Responding faithfully to multiple refugee crises”
The series was designed to help local congregations discern their most faithful and appropriate response to the new waves of forced migration that cycle the news almost daily. Access recordings of the sessions (along with other valuable resources) here
June 20, 2022 was World Refugee Day
It is never too late to consider honoring World Refugee Day with these resources, recommended by UCC Global H.O.P.E. Refugee and Migration Ministries:
Humanitarian crisis in Ukraine
- UCC response
- UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) press release on refugee data from Ukraine, including link to Ukraine Refugee Situation data portal
How to help Ukrainian arrivals to the United States
Up to 1000,000 Ukrainians are being admitted to the United States. Ukrainians require a private sponsor; the sponsor needs to file a I-134, a legally binding document: this allows families to reunite. Some Ukrainians do not have family and can be matched.
- To get more information on becoming a “welcomer” (for example, by donating money, airline miles, temporary housing through an AirBnb, supplies for setting up a household in your state) through Welcome.US: https://ukraine.welcome.us/
- The U.S. government has made Ukrainians eligible for benefits and services (for 12 months as of May 21), as outlined in this document: “Benefits for Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees“. These benefits include Refugee Cash Assistance, BadgerCare, FoodShare, and employment programs.
- Dept. of Homeland Security:
Learn about what you and your congregation can do to help refugees from Afghanistan
Mary Kuenning Gross is serving as the Welcoming Our Afghan Allies Partner in Service Volunteer for the Wisconsin Conference. Mary is working to establish relationships with government-designated resettlement agencies and with Wisconsin conference congregations enaged in the ministry of Afghan refugee resettlement. Email Mary or call (262) 271-8990
More general information on helping Afghan (and other) refugees:
Learn more about Title 42
Per “Key Facts About Title 42” by the Pew Research , Title 42 is “… a pandemic-era policy that has led the Border Patrol to turn away hundreds of thousands of migrants attempting to enter the United States at the U.S.-Mexico border over the past two years.” Other resources include:
Other relevant immigration information
- Learn more about “We the People Ride for Common Good Immigration & Border Practices” bike ride described on their website: “We finished our 3,200 mile ride along the entire U.S. / Mexico border and the U.S. coastline—66 days straight to listen, learn, and advocate for Common Good immigration practices and policies.”
- Read and apply critical thinking skills to:
- The Interfaith Immigration Coalition newsletter contains a wealth of relevant advocacy information. To sign up for the newsletter, visit the Interfaith Immigration Coalition webpage.
- Educate yourself about U.S. refugee admissions:
- For current and historical information on U.S. refugee admissions:
Links to organizations involved with immigration and immigration justice
For links to numerous state, national, and international organizations involved with immigration and immigration justice: Immigration links page
Immigration justice resources
For resources to learn more about immigration justice: Immigration justice resources page