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200+ Faith Leaders to Take Action at the Border

200+ Faith Leaders to Take Action at the Border

Published: December 4, 2018
Photo: AFSC / Pedro Rios

Mobilization starts “Love Knows No Borders: A Moral Call for Migrant Justice” Week of Action

San Diego, CA (December 4, 2018) On December 10, more than two hundred faith leaders from different traditions will converge on the U.S.-Mexico border for a mass action in support of the migrant caravans and all those who seek refuge in the U.S. The event is organized by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization that has worked with migrants and refugees for over 100 years.

The action will begin with a press conference in San Diego at 10am. It will be followed by a solemn procession and action near the border wall. We will be releasing the exact location of the press conference closer to the event.  

“We are traveling to the border with people of many faiths to stand for the absolute protection of migrants seeking refuge and asylum,” said Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary for AFSC. “We stand with border residents in prophetic witness against the militarization of their communities, and the people of the migrant caravans, who seek a chance to live in safety and peace.” 

This event begins a nation-wide week of action called Love Knows No Borders: A moral call for migrant justice. Between Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 and International Migrants’ Day on Dec. 18, solidarity actions will take place across the nation. Participants are calling on the U.S. government to end the detention and deportation of immigrants, respect the human right to migrate, and end the militarization of border communities. 

This mobilization comes at a time when thousands of migrants – many seeking asylum – are seeking entry into the U.S., but instead have been met with tear gas, the U.S. military, and indefinite detention.  “The border is essentially closed, with only a handful of people being accepted at ports of entry to declare themselves for asylum each day,” explains Araceli Velasquez, a leader of Colorado’s sanctuary movement who herself has been in sanctuary for over a year. “As a mom, I can only imagine how desperate I would be looking at my three sons and not being able to get to safety, to be in limbo in Tijuana and not be able to provide for them. That trauma is just added to the trauma they experienced on the journey or the trauma they might have experiences in their country of origin. This is a huge injustice by the U.S. government.”

The day before the Dec. 10 action there will be an interfaith service led by local clergy and the New Poor People’s Campaign. The service will take place at the University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Hillcrest, 3900 Cleveland, in San Diego on Sunday Dec. 9 at 6:30.

The mobilization at the border has been endorsed by a growing list of organizations and congregations, including the New Poor People’s Campaign, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Detention Watch Network, the United Methodist Church, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Church World Service, and many others.  

In Mexico and Central America, AFSC programs strengthen civil society networks, and AFSC staff are working alongside other Mexican organizations to support the migrant caravans with humanitarian aid, accompaniment and human rights monitoring. In the U.S., AFSC is organizing for just and humane immigration policies, and working for the demilitarization of the border.

“Instead of endangering our communities with more militarization, U.S. authorities should concentrate their resources on expediting asylum requests and safeguarding human rights,” said Pedro Rios, director of AFSC’s U.S.-Mexico Border Program. “We are taking this action at the border to assert a necessary moral witness and to ask our elected officials to stand on the side of humanity.”

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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.

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