Immigration Justice

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.

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 (shared by Rev. Peder Johansonof the Wisconsin Council of Churches, 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, “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 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.

Other information:

(Please be aware that the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine is rapidly-changing and information shared here may be outdated by the time it is posted.)

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

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

 

CONTACTS

Lisa Hart, Wisconsin Conference staff

Mary Kuenning Gross
Grants and Scholarship Coordinator & Welcoming our Afghan Allies Partner in Service volunteer
(262) 271-8990

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(608) 846-7880