With many recent changes to immigration policies, many congregations and other community groups are asking about how to get involved in supporting their immigrant parishioners and neighbors. In a number of communities across the country, immigrants are being deported or fear being detained. Immigrant families are fractured by a broken system that often denies due process, separates parents and children, and creates a culture of fear that interrupts daily life.
LIRS has recently updated its Be Not Afraid resource which provides materials for immigrants and their families, as well as for congregations and volunteers. The resources are intended to dispel myths, alleviate fears, and inspire hope.
For Spanish-speaking groups, use the No Temas materials, which are translations of Be Not Afraid materials.
Do you know what legal rights you and anyone in the United States are entitled to, regardless of immigration status? Your congregation or group can use Be Informed materials to host a Know Your Rights session for immigrants in your community. Use the Rights Fact Sheet to learn these rights and print out Rights Cards that can easily be carried in a purse or wallet.
The Be Informed materials also include resources to host a Family Safety Planning session. This session will help ensure each member of a family stays safe in the event of an immigration-related crisis.
These resources are designed to support congregations serving immigrants as they discuss immigration issues and seek faithful responses. A three-part Bible study is available for your church’s use, along with worship planning tips, children’s sermons, and bulletin inserts. We’ve also included cultural competency tips to help educate and create awareness around cultural differences.
Many of our immigrant neighbors across the country are currently living in deep fear of raids that would rip families apart and devastate communities. This module is designed for congregations in support of persons affected by immigration raids. Use the Raid Preparedness Checklist and Raids Community Resources Worksheet to help prepare your congregation’s response in the event of a raid.
Even as we live out our faith by supporting our immigrant neighbors, we know that much can be changed to make our communities safer and more welcoming. Sign up for Stand for Welcome advocacy email alerts to receive up-to-date information and opportunities to speak up for migrants and refugees. The LIRS Action Center provides information about advocating on a national level by contacting elected leaders. Together, we can work toward laws and policies that offer protection and treat all newcomers with dignity.
We hope you will find these resources useful and share them with others. We would love to hear how you are using the Be Not Afraid and No Temas materials in your community. Please comment below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.