Deputies from the dioceses of Los Angeles and California have written a resolution to General Convention calling for an end to the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents without due cause, and reiterating previous calls for comprehensive immigration reform.
The Rev. Canon Susan Russell submitted the resolution, endorsed by Deputies Sarah Lawton of the Diocese of California and Canon Jim White of the Diocese of Los Angeles to the General Convention office, which has given it the number D015.
Resolution D015 will be assigned to one of several committees for refinement during Convention proceedings. The committee may alter the language or combine the resolution with others of similar intent. If endorsed by the appropriate committee, the resolution will go to either the House of Deputies or the House of Bishops for initial action. If the originating house votes for the resolution, it goes to the other house for a vote. As with any resolution, both houses must concur.
The resolution text follows.
D015: Support Keeping Families Together
Resolved, the House of _______ concurring: That the 79th General Convention urge The Episcopal Church to support policies limiting the separation of families at or near ports of entry and prohibiting the removal of a child from a parent or guardian solely for the policy goal of deterring individuals from migrating to the United States or for the policy goal of promoting compliance with civil immigration laws; and be it further
Resolved: That The Episcopal Church reaffirm GC2009-B006 which advocates for comprehensive immigration reform.
The security of family provides critical mental, physical and emotional support to the development and wellbeing of children. Our congregations and agencies serve many migrant families that have recently arrived in the United States. Leaving their communities is often the only option they have to provide safety for their children and protect them from harm. Tearing children away from parents who have made a dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children.
Scripture calls us to welcome the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19, Leviticus 19:34, Matthew 25:35) and our Baptismal Covenant calls us to respect the dignity of every human being. We pray for the children and families suffering trauma due to this inhumane policy of separating families at our border and urge support for changes to those policies and continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.