Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, has issued a statement urging the Biden administration to vigorously pursue actions granting protection to migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. “In a matter of weeks, the number of migrants arriving at the Del Rio, Texas, sector of the U.S.-Mexico border has reached unforeseen levels,” the statement read, in part.

“The majority are Haitians seeking a better life after having fled multiple crises in their native land,” the statement continued.” There are also Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan nationals. U.S. treatment of these Black migrants and others at Del Rio has been deeply problematic. As a matter of humane treatment, I urge that the administration vigorously pursue actions to grant them protection and ensure that responsible actors are held accountable through a serious investigation into allegations of abuse.

“As Christians, some of us see our own stories reflected in the faces of these newcomers,” the statement continued. “Immigration has always been a contentious issue, but new challenges, such as climate change, call for renewed attention to just and humane migration policies. People must be able to migrate—to escape violence, reunite their families and seek work—in a way that is safe and acknowledges national borders and security. The ELCA recommits itself to seeking just, wise and compassionate immigration reform. Remembering the ELCA’s ‘Churchwide Blueprint for Action on Central America and the Caribbean Concerns,’ we reaffirm our commitment to promote mutually supporting relationships with the peoples of this region and to work for justice and peace.”

Read the full statement.

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