JFI

The following blog is derived from the text of a workshop talk given by CLINIC Integration Program Manager Leya Speasmaker Nov. 12 at the Justice for Immigrants convening in Chicago.

Integration has increased in importance and scope for our organization and our network.

Lamentations are a part of our faith tradition. They transcend the logic of reason, rational analysis, study and planning. They pierce the crusty calluses of numbness, cynicism, indifference and denial.

Laments are cries of anguish and outrage, groans of deep pain and grief, utterances of profound protest and righteous indignation over injustice, wails of mourning and sorrow in the face of unbearable suffering. Laments name the present pain, and forthrightly acknowledge that life and relationships have gone terribly wrong. Laments both stem from and lead to deep compassion.

Matthew 18:1-5

At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.”

“Nothing is as Important to the Church as Human Life”

Leviticus 24:22

You shall have but one rule, for alien and native-born alike. I, the LORD, am your God.

Background on Family Detention

The US immigrant detention system grew more than five-fold between 1994 and 2013.

In 1994 the daily detained population on a given day was 6,785 people. By 2013, that number grew to 34,260 – a figure mandated by Congress.

Exodus 20: 1-17

Then God spoke all these words:

Deuteronomy 10:19

So you too should love the resident alien, for that is what you were in the land of Egypt.

Matthew 2:13-23

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Revelation 7:9-10

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

 

The evening “Angela,” a woman in her early thirties, arrived at the shelter for women and children in Nogales, Mexico she was desperate to reunite with her husband “Tino” with whom she had traveled North two weeks before.  The couple traversed the Sonora desert together and crossed the border successfully, but were picked up at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Arizona only days after entering the United States.  The pair was separated upon apprehension and that was the last Angela saw of her husband. Angela described her husband to other migrants and service providers.