- Three resolutions related to immigration were voted on and passed at Annual Conference in June 2018. Read them here:
- The documentary “We Are DREAMers” premiered in early February and is now shown in different locations across Nebraska. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program provides nearly 800,000 undocumented young immigrants with protection from deportation for a period of two years, subject to renewal. View documentary.
- Pastor Orlando Gallardo from the Great Plains Annual Conference is among the Dreamers waiting for citizenship. Read his story, and watch him share his experience as an undocumented immigrant allowed to stay in the country.
- JFON-NE is now Immigrant Legal Center (ILC). Read more.
United Methodist position on immigration
The United Methodist Church's position on immigration is documented in several places in the Book of Discipline's Social Principles and is further documented in the United Methodist Book of Resolutions. These official positions are voted on by members of the General Conference, which meets every four years. Members of General Conference are elected by the annual conferences in the United States and Central Conferences outside the United States to attend this legislative assembly.
Just, humane immigration reform is one of the Legislative Priorities for the General Board of Church and Society, the denominational agency charged with carrying out the Social Principles through advocacy and education.
GBCS works with various coalitions on comprehensive immigration reform. The Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform is made up of business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, with some labor organizations, with immigrants, advocacy groups and with a number of faith groups.
GBCS is advocating for comprehensive immigration reform legislation that will provide a path to citizenship, protect workers, reunite families, restore the rule of law and enhance security.
The General Board of Church and Society offers two ways for congregations to get involved:
- Build relationships locally between immigrants and nonimmigrants. Have your church become an Immigrant Welcoming Community.
- Connect with your local Sanctuary Movement. Email Jeania Ree Moore if your church is interested in participating in this historic Christian witness of providing sanctuary to those in need.
For more information contact Sandy Sypherd, chair of the Great Plains Immigration Rapid Response Team at email@example.com or Andrea Paret, Great Plains Peace with Justice coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Church World Service (www.churchworldservice.org) offers a number of resources on issues related to immigration and refugees. The following resources from Church World Service are available for use as small group studies or discussion starters on the topic of immigration.
Other Immigration Resources
- Welcoming the Stranger: A Bible Study by Nancy Flader [PDF]
- Resolution for Compassionate Immigration Reform [PDF] - passed by the Great Plains Conference in 2014
- Bulletin insert about immigration and social principles [PDF]
- What is the view from the border? How can we journey in hope amid suffering? There are many organizations working with migrants on both sides of the US/Mexico border. In November 2018, Joanna Williams, the Director of Education and Advocacy at the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico (www.kinoborderinitiative.org), was part of a panel at the Education Day at Creighton University in Omaha. Read this article from the GPconnect from December 12, 2018. Or, watch the presentation by Joanna Williams and the stories she shared about migrants coming to the border.
- Author aims to break myths about immigration: “Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal” was the title of the keynote by Avi Chomksy during the International Educational Week at Creighton University in Omaha in November. Chomsky is professor of history and coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts. Read more in this article in the GPconnect from December 19, 2018.
Faith leaders struggle to bring message of hope to migrants: A small group of United Methodists waded into the cold Pacific Ocean to kneel and pray that the border wall separating the United States and Mexico would topple. They were part of a group of more than 300 faith leaders who marched to the wall on International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, in a “moral call for migrant justice.” Read more in this article from UM News on December 11, 2018.
Connect On Immigration
If you are interested in connecting with others in our conference on the issue of immigration, please contact one of the following persons: