In light of the “policy in which the United States is separating children from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico,” I am thankful that Campus Edge is connected to a larger church denomination that “is joining with the voices of other people of faith to call for an end to this policy, which causes families to suffer and runs counter to gospel values.”
The official statement of the Christian Reformed Church in North America is as follows:
The Christian Reformed Church in North America is deeply concerned about the new “zero tolerance” policy being enforced by the United States Department of Justice and the justifications that have been used to support it. We are troubled that this policy seems to remove the government’s responsibility to ensure that asylum seekers may legally make their claim. We are also alarmed by the active separation of vulnerable children from their parents that has resulted from this policy’s implementation. . . .
We acknowledge that governments have the right to uphold laws and secure their borders. However, we also believe that governments must use discretion in how they enforce those laws, and that the well-being of children as well as the upholding of human rights conventions should be key factors in making such decisions. Forcibly removing immigrant children from their parents and families can cause long-term trauma and psychological harm to both the children and their parents.
As people of faith with a call to protect the vulnerable, welcome the stranger, and love our neighbors, we urge our leaders to act with compassion for people fleeing life-threatening persecution and to keep families together.
We call on the U.S. administration to immediately end these unjust practices, and to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the values of family unity, humane treatment, and refuge for persons being persecuted. We also call on Congress to immediately act to reform our immigration system so that there are more, not fewer, opportunities for legal status and permanent protection for vulnerable immigrants.
Finally, we encourage members of the CRCNA in the U.S. to keep this situation in their prayers, to educate themselves about issues facing immigrants, and to urge their lawmakers to enact laws that honor the blessings that immigrants bring to our country.