They’re All Our Children

LIRS_Stand_for_WelcomeThe Border-Children-Refugee Crisis: Can You Help?

With funding from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), the Minnesota Community Support Initiative (CSI) works to provide a variety of legal and social services to immigrants in detention and removal (deportation) proceedings. Its Minnesota partners in this effort include Conversations With Friends – ending isolation by visiting and supporting detained immigrants (CWF), whose lead is UCC pastor, Rev. John Guttermann.

Now LIRS with its partners, including CWF, is asking interested congregations and communities to consider helping, beginning by assessing the local capacity to assist. In its letter to its partner organizations, LIRS President, Linda Hartke, says, “LIRS is reaching out to get an initial sense of the potential capacity in our networks and in the broader community of… social ministry organizations. Our ability to persuade the government to pursue alternatives to detention, treat families humanely, and provide funding for needed services will be enhanced if we can make a credible case for the capacity we can offer. At this point, we want to explore with you two different models of service that would be targeted to the different circumstances of detained Central American migrants.”

For help assessing the capacity of your congregation and community to help, please click here.

Here is a list of all of Minnesota’s LIRS-Presbyterian funded Community Support Initiative partners:

  • Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (Legal Assistance)
  • The Advocates for Human Rights (Legal Assistance)
  • Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services, University of St. Thomas
  • Guadalupe Alternative Programs (Counseling)
  • Sarah’s Oasis (Housing)
  • Simpson Housing (Housing)
  • Conversations with Friends – ending isolation by visiting and supporting detained immigrants

For more information, contact Rev. John Guttermann, 651-485-3104,


immigration reform advocacyA Faithful Response to Unaccompanied Children – Resources from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) is one of the national interfaith organizations leading on an interfaith response to the child refugee crisis at our southern border. IIC is supported by the UCC.

  1. Webinar PowerPoint Presentation Download
  2. Webinar Audio Download (Also available by phone playback: call-in 1-805-399-1099, code 104402#)
  3. Demand that Congress reject rollbacks to child protection law – Phone and Twitter Advocacy Page
  4. Groundswell Petition
  5. Myths and Facts (contains many stats on indicators of violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala)

If you have problems with any of the links or have questions about the information in this article, please contact Rev. John Guttermann, 651-485-3104, For a presentation from your MN Conference Immigration Team, contact team chair, Susie George,


Urgent: Call the Senate and House Today!

Demand that Congress REJECT Rollbacks to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Proposals to “deport children more quickly” would return unaccompanied children to exploitation, trafficking and unsafe situations. To read more and find out how you can help, click here.