Asylum Policies Continue to Be Vastly Restricted During Summer 2020

See A Snapshot of Asylum Policies at the Border: June 2020 for a summary of the many asylum policies and practices that impact the US-Mexico border.  As a result, it has become much more difficult, if not impossible, for those fleeing violence, conflict and persecution- on account of race, nationality, religion, political opinion and/or social group- to seek asylum in the United States. The Amidst existing chaos, COVID-19, and practices surrounding it, further threaten both health and the sanctity of our asylum system.

Read Refugee & Immigration Ministries Comments Submitted Re: Proposed Asylum Changes

*Rules Proposed Eliminating Grounds for Protection, Raising Bars & Standards, and Denying Due Process Rights: Asylum RIMDisciples Comments DHS EOIR RIN 1125 AA94 EOIR Docket No. 18 0002 July152020

*Rules Proposed During COVID-19:  DisciplesofChristRIM CommentsCDC-2020-0033 InterimFinalRule April232020UPD


Picture above at Capitol Hill #Faith4Asylum vigil on Capitol Hill, Jan. 29, 2020.

As Disciples, we participate with multiple partners in the Interfaith Immigration Coalition to help lead a national campaign to raise faith voices against the suffering of asylum seekers, worsened by policies that keep children and families in tent cities, disallow them from claiming protections that are guaranteed by national and international law, limit access to vital legal assistance, and even return individuals and families directly into the dangers of their home nations from which they have fled.

Go to: to learn much more about how you can join the campaign, and join in prayers and actions to help!

See here: for a toolkit to raise awareness in your congregation about current policies that are multiplying suffering at our borders.

See here: for a family and child friendly resource to use with families in your congregation and community.

Read here: a “Responsive Prayer for Asylum Seekers” written by retired Disciples clergy Martha Jolly, which she led on 2/14/2020 as part of an Interfaith Prayer Circle with #Faith4Asylum at Xeriscape Park in Brownsville, Texas.

Picture at left from Brownsville, Valentine’s Day action sharing love with asylum seekers being bused, then flown back to conditions of violence in the countries from which they’d fled. Center, tent city of migrants returned to Mexico, beneath the border bridge in Matamoros. Photos courtesy of Julia Paley, Religious Action Center.

Two-thirds of Central American asylum seekers arriving in the U.S. have had a loved one killed, kidnapped, or “disappeared.” Yet Immigration Judges, under the oversight of the U.S. Justice Department, continue to deny them asylum and send them back to the danger they fled. Hundreds of people have been killed or attacked after being denied asylum and deported, or while being forced to remain in Mexico under the callous “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP).

Increasingly, asylum-seekers from Africa and other continents across the globe are arriving to find our borders closed to them, no matter the violence and deadly repression they fled.

The administration is also sending asylum-seekers from El Salvador and Honduras to Guatemala and forcing them to apply for safety there, a country that has its own share of refugees fleeing danger. The fatal consequences seen in MPP will only multiply and continue under the so-called “asylum cooperation agreement” policy.


Hear the heart of Rev. Terri Hord Owens and other Faith Leaders who Voice Staunch Support for Asylum Seekers, and Urge the President to Uphold Protections for Vulnerable Families and Individuals:

Faith Leaders Respond to Trump Sending of Troops and Asylum Removal 103018FINAL

See this Sermon by Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, based upon Micah 2:12-13, and referring to the movement of Central Americans seeking asylum:Breach Beyond Barriers sermon2, Micah 2 for sharing 102818

What is ASYLUM?  What are America’s current regulations and practices about who can apply? Learn more HERE, from the American Immigration Council.

See These Interfaith Talking Points on Central American Migrants Seeking Asylum Protections:  Migrant Caravan Interfaith Talking Points updated103118

What Can Disciples Do to Help Humanitarian Needs of Asylum Seekers?  Read here for more information about the work of SWGSM and Rev. Feliberto, with our collaborative shelter project, Casa Bugambilia, in Metamoros, Mexico, along the southern border near Brownsville, Texas:

Learn More About the Migrant Caravan and Central American Networks of Shelters that Serve Them from our Ministry Partners in Central America.  Read the insights of Ricardo Mayol, who serves with our partners at the Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala (CECG):


See here 5 Key Ways we can help the children seeking asylum NOW!!:

*Print out the image at left to  share with your congregation.  Also, use this “4 per page” as a handout for your church members and community:  5 Ways to Help Children on the Border, 4 per page handout

*Please note that congregations and individuals are NOT allowed to send toothbrushes, clothes, or other items directly into the government facilities that have recently received criticism!

*However, be sure to go to: for more information about specific ways to engage in advocacy, as well as direct support for shelters already assisting migrants.

*Keep giving to Week of Compassion, to strengthen our Disciples’ efforts to support shelters receiving hundreds of new asylum seekers daily.

*Do not neglect to ADVOCATE as advised in the alert.  It is POLICIES that are holding children in unsafe conditions, and our faith voices are desperately needed to weigh in about our values, to help CHANGE them!

Please check back often for additional resources about ways you can assist asylum seekers!!