Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Change in Climate

The Reverend Anna B. Lange-Soto, who is the Vicar of the Episcopal Church's Spanish-speaking congregation on the Peninsula, spoke to us for over an hour. Her focus was about recent difficulties her congregation is facing with stepped-up immigration enforcement.

Mother Anna's comments
People felt safer under President Obama, who deported criminals but for the most part left other undocumented immigrants alone.

President Trump says that deporting criminals is the top priority but ICE has behaved as if everyone is fair game.

25% of Latinos in the area are undocumented.

How to support undocumented immigrants:
Use churches as a sanctuary; ICE so far has not raided church property.

"Rapid response": show up when ICE is conducting a raid. Being present as a witness and/or recording their actions will influence agents' behavior.

Accompany people to court hearings. A show of support from the community may affect the outcome.

Demonstrate at the Richmond ICE detention facility on the first Saturday of every month.

Advocate changes to immigration law through elected representatives.

Blogger's comment:
As individuals we can subscribe to any of Mother Anna's recommendations, but if we are acting under the auspices of the church, we must consider the differing political views of all members as well as the constraints under which religious organizations operate. I suspect that our assistance will end up short of advocacy but long on basic human needs such as food, shelter, education, and medical care.

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