A delegation sponsored by the Mayflower (Mpls) Immigration Team is heading to the Texas-Mexico border on January 11 and would like to bring letters of support to detained children and mothers written by many members of the Minnesota Conference.
Imagine yourself having to leave your country because of policies inflicted on you from another country. That is what has happened to thousands of children and mothers who have been crossing the Mexico-Texas border. U.S. trade policies have led to the loss of millions of jobs in Mexico and Central America. In Mexico alone, low prices of U.S. corn made 8 million farms unsustainable. Because they have lost their way of making a living, migrants from Mexico and Central America cross the border in hopes of finding jobs that will enable their families to survive. It is a risky business, crossing the border! The increase in border security has made crossing even more dangerous. Seeing no other alternative, children and families choose to take the risk.
In the past year over 68,000 unaccompanied minors were apprehended at the border. A similar number of families was apprehended. This led to incarceration of these children and families even though they had committed no crime. About 300 of these children have come to Minnesota in the past several months due to family members living here.
On January 11, the Mayflower-sponsored group of sixteen will head for El Paso. The group will include Minnesota Conference Minister, Rev. Shari Prestemon. Through the organization Abriendo Fronteras, the group will be visiting family detention centers, talking to border control agents, visiting immigration court, meeting with people who working to help the families, and witnessing what some of our UCC churches are doing in the area. The group would like to take letters to the children who are in detention. The purpose of the letters is to let the children know that there are people in the US, and in particular, in Minnesota, who are thinking about them and wanting them to know that they care about what happens to them. We are inviting any child or adult to write a letter to a child in detention or to a mother. The Mayflower group will carry these letters to El Paso and hand them to the children and/or mothers. Please consider inviting the children in your Sunday School classes to write letters. If they know Spanish, please write in Spanish. If not, someone will translate the letters and attach the translation. It would be wonderful to have Minnesota Conference churches participate.
Contact Diane Haines, Mayflower Immigration Team, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.