“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.”  Ephesians 2:17-22 NRSV

 

MIGRANT JOURNEY FROM CENTRAL AMERICA: A GUIDE TO SETTING UP AN INTERACTIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCE

WHAT IS THE MIGRANT JOURNEY? The migrant journey is an interactive experience to learn about the factors driving people to flee their homes in the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) and seek refuge in the United States. As people go through the journey, they learn why children and families are fleeing from their homes and the obstacles they face finding protection in other countries, including the United States. The migrant journey is an experience that congregations (or any other group) can use to learn more about the perilous journey that children and families are making every day. Learn more.

 

ACCOMPANYING MINORS WITH PROTECTION, ADVOCACY, REPRESENTATION AND OPPORTUNITIES (AMMPARO)

In a holistic, whole church commitment by the ELCA, as a church in the world, AMMPARO was envisioned to accompany children today and in the future who are forced to flee their communities because of complex and interrelated reasons, including chronic violence, poverty, environmental displacement and lack of opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Explore AMMPARO resources.

 

LEARN ABOUT IMMIGRANTS IN PENNSYLVANIA

The American Immigration Council provides statistics regarding immigrants in each state. Much of Pennsylvania’s economy relies on the manufacturing industry, which benefits from the state’s growing immigrant population. Immigrants now make up over six percent of all residents and also account for a large share of the state’s entrepreneurs. Learn more.

 

ELCA PRESIDING BISHOP ELIZABETH A. EATON STATEMENTS ON IMMIGRATION

Bishop Eaton issued this statement on Dreamers on February 9, 2018.

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA),  convened ELCA ecumenical and inter-religious partners in a statement addressing concerns over a recent U.S. government policy calling for more stringent enforcement of federal immigration laws. The statement was issued June 7, 2018.

Bishop Eaton issued a statement on June 22, 2018 on the Administration’s Executive order for the Detention of Families.

ELCA presiding bishop responds to Supreme Court decision on travel ban June 26, 2018. Read her statement.


ELCA BECOMES SANCTUARY DENOMINATION

In its simplest form, becoming a sanctuary denomination means that the ELCA is publicly declaring that walking alongside immigrants and refugees is a matter of faith. In baptism, we are brought into a covenantal relationship with Jesus Christ that commits us to strive for justice and peace in all the earth. Talking points, articles, videos and resources are housed here so this church can have conversations about what sanctuary means with many of our members in their context to discern future action and direction. Becoming a sanctuary denomination was voted on and passed by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee. Learn more.

 

PENNSYLVANIA IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP COALITION WELCOMING SCHOOLS TOOLKIT

This Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC) toolkit provides students, parents, and community members with the information and tools they need to work with their schools to enact policies to ensure that all students, regardless of immigration status, are welcome, safe, and protected in the school environment. Access here.

 


RESOURCES FOR CHANGES TO PUBLIC CHARGE

The “public charge” test refers to the evaluation by federal immigration officials to determine whether a person applying for a visa or green card is likely to rely on government benefits. The final rule, which was published in August, 2019 by the Department of Homeland Security, changes the public charge definition by adding more programs into the determination, including Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). For more information about public charge, click here.