On December 10, 2018, more than 400 individuals of faith from all over the country joined in a nonviolent direct action at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California. The event kicked off a week of actions in communities across the U.S., calling for an end to border militarization and demanding humane immigration policies that respect the rights and dignity of all people.
Since mid-October, large groups of migrants have been traveling north from Central America through Mexico. The groups include people of all ages—families and children—many of whom are attempting to escape violence and poverty and are seeking asylum in the U.S. and Mexico.
Instead of responding with compassion and humanity, President Trump is portraying migrants as a security threat to advance his antiimmigrant agenda. Trump has deployed thousands of military troops to border communities and attempted to further restrict migrants’ ability to apply for asylum.
In reaction to the administration’s harmful actions and rhetoric, the American Friends Service Committee enacted an emergency response and collaborated with faith groups across the country to make demands for migrant justice.
In the South Region, AFSC staff led meetings, marches and vigils with communities in Washington, D.C.; Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Chapel Hill, NC; and Charleston, WV. By signing up through the AFSC’s website, supporters were able to organize additional acts of solidarity in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia—a total of 14 gatherings in our region to reinforce our commitment to migrant rights.
The actions sparked conversation and calls for humane treatment of immigrants as officials attempted to spread fear about the arriving caravan. Lucy Duncan, AFSC Director of Friends Relations, felt that her belief called her “To stand against actions that deny that migrants at the border are our neighbors—our kin. I believe our government’s militarization of border communities and attempts to keep out asylum seekers is in conflict with my deeply held belief in the worth and dignity of all people.”
Duncan’s account was published in Yes! Magazine, and more coverage of the border action can be found in The Nation, NBC News and the Associated Press. The Nation also placed the AFSC on its 2018 Progressive Honor Roll, marking Love Knows No Borders as the most valuable protest of the year. You can learn more about the AFSC’s response to this issue by visiting https://www.afsc.org/migrantcaravan.