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4 Ways to Support Asylum Seekers at the US-Mexico Border

Many are wondering what Christians who are far from the U.S. southern border can do to seek justice and support the dignity of those who are migrating.

Here are a few ideas:

1) Pray

If you’re wondering what to say, and how to say it, when praying for the “migrant caravan” during Sunday worship, these words might help:

As we begin the season of Advent, we remember a pregnant Mary who was in need of a safe place to give birth to Jesus, and was offered no hospitality. We remember, too, that when Jesus was a child, his mother and father took him from his home country of Israel so they could flee to the safety of Egypt.


In recent weeks, an estimated 8,000 people joined together for safety to form a "caravan," and have made a journey to the United States in order to seek asylum. They are fleeing violence, corruption, natural disasters, and lack of economic opportunity in their home countries. Approximately 800 are children.


It is legal to seek asylum. Migrants who reach the U.S. border and petition for asylum are engaging in a process authorized by U.S. laws. Those who request asylum go through a vigorous process, including numerous background checks and screenings, which takes nearly three years on average, and most (especially those who cannot afford a lawyer) do not get their asylum claim granted.


Today, there are about 6,000 people waiting in Tijuana alone -- and only 40 to 100 people per day are processed. While people wait their turn, they are exposed to danger and vulnerability. There isn’t enough room in the inn, so to speak.


Loving God, For the families, children, men, women at our doorstep, aching with need for shelter, safety, a future, we cry out to you.

For a government system unprepared to respond to this need, we cry out to you.

For powerful people unwilling to consider alternative solutions, we cry out to you.

For elected leaders struggling to find common ground and lasting solutions, we cry out to you.

For counselors, pastors, social workers, doctors, lawyers -- exhausted and burdened by the numbers, the stories, the pain -- we cry out to you.

For your church -- including those in this community -- called to reach out, welcome, and love, we cry out to you.

May we find energy to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ, who knew so well what it meant to be vulnerable.

May we find courage to stand against hateful ideas, fearful attitudes, protectionist policies with our voices, our votes, our vigilance.

May we be motivated by love, and not by fear. May our leaders be filled with wisdom and a spirit of compassion.

Nothing is impossible for you. Because of this, may we be filled with hope.


You can download this prayer as a PDF here.

2) Learn

Watch and share the following video, where CRC pastor Rev. Sandra Van Opstal interviews leaders who are on the ground in Tijuana (including OSJ’s mobilizer on the ground in Southern California, Vanessa Soltero Martinez).

The Immigration Crisis: Embracing a Pastoral Moment 
3) Give

Organizations like Matthew 25 So Cal are working tirelessly to support leaders in Mexico and along the border. They’re seeking gifts that go directly to the migrants.

Give to support Matthew 25 So Cal's ministry at the border


4) Advocate

“You may not have all the answers, but you can at least say ‘What’s happening is not right.’”

-Rev. Van Opstal

Your voice is critical -- and it’s easy to raise it. Go to our action alert to learn more:

Protect Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers


[Image: Flickr user Jonathan McIntosh, under Creative Commons license]


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