Presiding Bishop and others call on Trump not to block refugees

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Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Episcopal Migration Ministries director Reverend E. Mark Stevenson have responded to Donald Trump’s directives and proposed directives ordering the building of a wall along the U.S./Mexico border, blocking grants to sanctuary cities and establishing new restrictions on undocumented immigrants and potential immigrants.

From an Episcopal News Service story:

“The work of Episcopal Migration Ministries is God’s work, and we show the face of God through the care and compassion in that work,” Curry said. “I ask President Trump to continue the powerful work of our refugee resettlement program without interruption, recognizing the long wait and screening process that means refugees wait months and sometimes years to enter the country.

“We ask that we continue to accept as many refugees as we have in the past, recognizing the need is greater than ever. We ask that refugees from all countries receive consideration to come to the U.S. and not to ban those who come from countries most in need of our assistance.”

Stevenson:

“Isolating ourselves from the world does not make us safer; it only isolates us,” he said. “Being afraid of those who differ from us does not make us wise, or even prudent; it only traps us in an echo chamber of suspicion and anger, and stops us cold from loving as Christ loved.”

The United States cannot solve the problem of violence in other countries, Stevenson said, but “we can act morally and show leadership” by offering refugees a new life in a safe place. He pledged that EMM will “continue to minister to those who have fled their homes because of persecution, violence or war.”

A webinar planned already by EMM will take place on February 1 (we published that announcement on January 19). The ENS story can be read here.

A release from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service issues a condemnation of Trump’s actions:

“At a time when so many people are fleeing unspeakable violence and persecution to seek refuge in the U.S., today’s decision is a drastic contradiction of what it means to be an American. As the world has its eyes on us, it is imperative that President Trump uphold the values that America has always lived by: compassion, empathy, family, human rights, and protection for those seeking a safe haven from danger and persecution,” said Linda Hartke, LIRS President and CEO.

“As Christians, we do not fear our new neighbors who have fled for their very lives – we embrace them. As people of faith, we are called to love and serve our neighbors – and as a result, our churches, our communities and our nation are stronger,” said Hartke.

We’ll update this post as we are aware of other similar statements.

Photos from Episcopal Migration Ministry

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Paul Woodrum
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The ones who need to be monitored are Trump and his billionaire buddies. By the time they're done, we'll all be as poor as the Syrians and they'll be as rich as the Saudis. Oh yeah. And Comrade Putin.

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Jay Croft
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Jay Croft

"So, I propose a compromise. We let in all women, children under the age of 16, and men over the age of 50. The others we hold, in comfort, until they can be more thoroughly vetted for ties to terrorists organizations. While they are being vetted, and for a period after they come into the country, their electronic communication (phone, email, computer use, etc.) will be monitored to see if they are becoming or are communicating with terrorists."

Yeah, women cannot possibly be terrorists, nor men over 50, nor anyone below the age of 16.

And who is going to "monitor their electronic communication?" Trump has frozen Federal hiring, so where would these monitors come from?

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David Allen
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David Allen

Homeland is preparing the files for the 10 immigrants that Phillip will be personally monitoring.

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Helen Kromm
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Helen Kromm

It's very clear what is happening here. Trump's authoritarian orders and mandates have nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with exciting his base.

There is also a business aspect to this that you simply can't credibly overlook or dismiss. Trump did not include a single country on the exemption list where he maintains or has a personal business interest.

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-trump-immigration-ban-conflict-of-interest/

Clearly, barring residents of any nation from entering your own country would negatively affect your own business interests in that nation. So, Trump has exempted all countries where he has a business interest from his edict.

So you are left with this curious contradiction. Saudi citizens have caused more American deaths due to acts of terrorism than any other country, as evidenced by 9/11. Iraq, whos' Army is now fighting against terrorism shoulder to shoulder with thousands of Americans is on the list.

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Jean Lall
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Jean Lall

Thoroughly vetted people are now being stopped at the airports and refused admission to the U.S.

The nightmare is upon us.

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Philip B. Spivey
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Philip B. Spivey

So, it begins.

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Philip B. Spivey
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Philip B. Spivey

I do wish that some commentators would not objectify "refugees" and speak of "Muslims" and "terrorists" in the same breath. It dehumanizes each of these groups so that it is a short walk to conflating all three entities. We can't act humanely if we have dehumanized people in crisis.

Since when are refugees a dirty word when many of us can trace our ancestry to refugees from some God-forsaken environment.

With the Trump administration, we will find that our most dangerous enemies are not outside. Authoritarian leaders invent straw men like 'weapons of mass destruction' and the 'the murderous, great unwashed refugee horde' to distract us from the regime's mischief in the halls of power. In fact, these leaders go a step further: They work to destabilize geo-political regions in the Middle East that are most likely to retaliate against the United States. Hence, another war.

God doesn't care about geo-politics, but he does care about us and our relationships. I pray the global women's marches launched last Saturday become a high water mark to which we ALL aspire. These marches represent our very better angels.

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Scott Fisher
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Scott Fisher

Better angels? Perhaps you could explain to Madonna that thinking about committing arson doesn't help the cause. And to the folks who want to continue killing children via abortion that they need to repent of that evil.

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Philip B. Spivey
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Philip B. Spivey

If you think Madonna and physicians who perform legal abortions are objectionable human beings, just wait until to you see what crawls out of the wormwood in the next few years. Shock and awe.

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