I am not a Roman Catholic, but I love the Ignacian Solidarity Network. Their newsletter posts are so inspiring. Please see today's message below:
Do Not Be Afraid
By Crystal Catalan
Joseph was told, “Do not be afraid.”
Mary too, was told, “Do not be afraid.”
How important these four words are for me, too, especially in moments when I find myself unsure, or nervous, or in fear. When I feel abandoned, or when I find myself faced with difficult experiences throughout periods of transition, I am reminded too, to not be afraid.
I can not imagine how Mary and Joseph felt as they journeyed on their own, seeking to find a place for Mary to give birth to baby Jesus. Did they feel alone? Or were they comforted by their faith and hope in God? Did they cry out to God for answers, wondering if anyone would come to their aid and support them in their struggle? Would anyone extend compassion and make space for them in their homes and in their hearts?
In this fourth week of the Advent season, we can especially take time to think of the members in our communities, maybe our family members or friends who may have felt afraid, unheard, unseen, alone or abandoned. How can we make room for the poor and vulnerable individuals in our lives? Those in our close proximity, and those whom we may never meet? How can we not only provide them with our time and resources, but further, how can we work towards ensuring that just policies are in place and are upheld within structures which preserve the dignity of each human person?
This week, we especially pray for refugees, victims of injustice and oppression, and all who may feel afraid and alone this holiday season. May we continue to call upon Emmanuel, even beyond Christmas, and remind ourselves and one another that God is and will be forever with us.
Share your thoughts
Two posts today. I must post this review and recommenfation for my book, NO MORE DEATHS.
No More Deaths (https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Deaths-Humanitarian-Migrants/dp/1095045822/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2J9FQJFM4Q3CU&keywords=sue+lefebvre&qid=1576188694&sprefix=sue+le%2Caps%2C153&sr=8-1) also came out this year. It is written by my good friend Sue Lefebvre. Sue and her husband, Gene, are now living in a retirement community in Phoenix.
Some of you will remember that Gene received the “Barstow-Driver Award for excellence in nonviolent direct action in retirement” (my favorite award offered by any nonprofit/church organization anywhere) a year or so ago from the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. While Gene was out mapping migrant trails and organizing humanitarian assistance for folks at risk of dying as they crossed the AZ borderlands over the last fifteen years, Sue was quietly performing many of the behind the scenes tasks that were needed for No More Deaths to grow into a full-on movement.
What I didn’t realize till I read her book is that she was also taking extensive notes on the weekly meetings we held and the difficult decisions that were being made. Her book can reasonably be described as a definitive account of how No More Deaths came to be. I was a part of the first four years of No More Deaths, and I learned things I didn’t know, even about those meetings and activities I was so much a part of.
There is a full section of the book on the story of Dr. Scott Warren, who was recently tried a second time for his work with No More Deaths, but this time was acquitted, as well as others who have been arrested over the years for this important work. Her book is full of written reflections from the journals of No More Deaths volunteers.
It is a remarkable achievement, and it should be in every public library in the country as a resource for those who care about protecting the right to offer direct assistance to the 70 million migrants and refugees who are currently on the move in our world today. It’s also an amazing primer on the unique style of Tucson-based movement building that grew out of the rich activist history with farm workers, Central American refugees, anti-NAFTA, and land redemption work over the last five decades.
Order a copy for yourself and the library in your college or community as well!
Arrests of migrants at the US-Mexico border dropped again in NovemberTrump’s policies are pushing migrants into Mexico instead.
By Nicole Narea@nicolenarea Dec 10, 2019, 2:00pm EST
Share this story (Thanks, Sue)
Mario Tama/Getty ImagesThe Trump administration has set out to prevent migrants from setting foot on US soil, and it’s working: The number of migrants arriving at the southern border fell again in November, marking a more than 70 percent decline since the peak in May.
US Customs and Border Protection apprehended 33,150 migrants and turned away another 9,139, a 6 percent drop from October and about 30 percent lower than last November. The agency can reject migrants who do not satisfy the criteria necessary to be admitted to the US, including those with criminal records or those who would likely rely on certain forms of government assistance.
Over the past year, the Trump administration has imposed a series of new hurdles for migrants and asylum seekers. The rules allow migrants to be sent back to countries with high levels of violence and have kept thousands waiting in makeshift camps at the US-Mexico border.
Under its “Remain in Mexico” policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the administration has sent more than 60,000 migrants back to Mexico to await decisions on their asylum applications.
The administration has also brokered agreements with the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, allowing the US to deport migrants both to the countries they came from, and passed through, on their way to the US. Only the agreement with Guatemala has gone into effect so far.
The Department of Homeland Security has issued a separate rule preventing migrants from being granted asylum if they passed through any country other than their own before arriving in the US, which means that asylum seekers from any country but Mexico are ineligible for asylum.
Mark Morgan, the head of US Customs and Border Protection, told reporters on Monday that there has been an increase in the number of Mexican families showing up at the border — and consequently, the administration has been experimenting with ways to keep Mexicans out.
In early October, the administration launched a secretive pilot program in El Paso specifically designed to decide Mexicans’ asylum cases quickly while they’re still in CBP custody. In September, CBP also started subjecting more Mexicans to its practice of “metering,” which limits the number of migrants processed at ports of entry each day.
Those initiatives have proved effective: Mexicans who were previously being processed at the ports are now turned away and forced to wait in the migrant camps on the Mexican side of the border, where migrant shelters are at capacity due to the metering that has affected immigrants from other nations.
The administration has also all but ended the practice of releasing families into the interior of the US once they are apprehended by CBP — what Morgan referred to as the practice of “catch and release.” Single adults, however, are still being detained and prosecuted for crossing the border without authorization.
It’s all part of the administration’s attempt to deter migrants from making the perilous journey to the southern border in the first place.
“Our message to economic migrants is clear – do not put your lives at risk and do not trust your families to smugglers,” Morgan said. “You will not be allowed to stay.”
But Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told reporters Tuesday that Trump’s quest to drive down the numbers of migrants arriving at the border is merely an attempt to “get rid of the problem without solving it” and has come “at the expense of humanity.”
”They’ve placed people in dangerous Mexican cities that the United States government advises its own people, us, not to visit,” he said.
Paul Barby has some interesting articles this week. I am sharing them all. I am especially disturbed by the migrant teen dying in his cell while in custody.
Paul Barby Fri, Dec 6, 3:36 PM (2 days ago)
Apple CEO Tim Cook says he's ready to 'fight until my toes point up' to protect DACA
'Only God's hand has kept us safe': Migrants describe kidnappings and other dangers at the Mexico ...
But while waiting for their cases to be heard he says they have practically become prisoners in a shelter for migrants in the Mexican border town of ...
Daily Immigration News Clips – December 2, 2019
Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on December 2, 2019.
Arizona ports of entry see delays after migrants use car lanes to claim asylum
A Nogales police officer stands guard at the vehicle lanes at Nogales' DeConcini port of entry in Nogales on Dec. 2, 2019. The officers were stationed ...
How climate change influences immigration to the United States
Yale Climate Connections
How climate change influences immigration to the United States. Posted on Dec 4, 2019. Protracted drought and crop failures are part of why people ...
Report: Crimes against migrants waiting in Mexico to seek US asylum continue to climb
More than 630 violent crimes against asylum seekers affected by the Migrant Protection Protocols program have been reported in Mexico, according to ...
Migrant Teen Lay for Hours in His Cell Before He Was Found Dead - The New York Times
Here's The Company Behind Trump's Controversial Border 'Tent Courts' For Migrants
It was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit on a mid-September day at the U.S. border when a group of migrants lined up for their immigration hearings for the ...
This review of my book appeared in the Arizona Daily Star on Sunday, December 1, 2019.
'No More Deaths: Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime, Saving Lives of Migrants' by Sue Lefebvre.
Sue Lefebvre. $27.50.
For anyone who would ask why a respected Arizona State University geography instructor would risk going to prison for aiding migrants lost in the desert, this new book has an answer. At the writing of this review, Scott Warren has been found not guilty, in federal court in Tucson for acts of conscience. In 'No More Deaths,' Sue Lefebvre, wife of Gene Lefebvre, one of the founders of the humanitarian aid group of that name, chronicles its 15-plus years of existence, and Warren is one of many gutsy workers who stand up for social justice. In 2004, horrified by the spike in migrants dying in the Southern Arizona desert, a group of faith leaders founded No More Deaths. Since then, hundreds of volunteers have joined them. They map the desert, leave water and food along trails, seek migrants in distress, and search for lost crossers and dead bodies; they treat injured, hungry, and threatened deportees; they document abuses, return confiscated belongings to the deported, and assist family contact.
Others have written about their personal experiences with humanitarian aid in the Arizona sector, but Lefebvre's is comprehensive, incorporating the efforts and voices of many local social justice activists.
At 646 pages, it's hardly a beach read, but it's interesting, and it makes a significant contribution to the conversation about social justice and immigration in the U.S.
- Christine Wald-Hopkins
Thanks, Christine, Sue