MCC responds to immigrant crisis

Aug 1, 2014 by and

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With an unprecedented number of Central American families fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries and arriving at the U.S. border, Mennonite Central Committee has committed $30,000 to an initial response and is assessing other potential assistance.

An MCC-supported group visits a soup kitchen that provides meals to migrants passing through Nogales, Mexico, including those sent back from the U.S. to Mexico. Participants in West Coast MCC’s Global Anabaptist Peacebuilders Institute include, standing from left, Caleb Dalke of Dallas, Ore.; Mara Weaver of Bloomington, Ill., who is serving with MCC’s Serving and Learning Together program in Mexico; Crystal Fernandez, a West Coast MCC immigration documentation worker; Priscilla Rodriguez of Mathis, Texas; and Amy Gonzalez of Reedley, Calif. — Saulo Padilla/MCC

An MCC-supported group visits a soup kitchen that provides meals to migrants passing through Nogales, Mexico, including those sent back from the U.S. to Mexico. Participants in West Coast MCC’s Global Anabaptist Peacebuilders Institute include, standing from left, Caleb Dalke of Dallas, Ore.; Mara Weaver of Bloomington, Ill., who is serving with MCC’s Serving and Learning Together program in Mexico; Crystal Fernandez, a West Coast MCC immigration documentation worker; Priscilla Rodriguez of Mathis, Texas; and Amy Gonzalez of Reedley, Calif. — Saulo Padilla/MCC

“Our call to welcome the stranger is bigger than ever,” said MCC U.S. immigration education coordinator Saulo Padilla. In his six years in the position he has never witnessed as many women and children at the border as he has in recent trips.

In visiting at centers serving those who have been deported into Mexico, meeting people at bus stops on both sides of the border and interacting with Mennonite churches who are caring for these immigrants in their own communities, he finds himself thinking of Matthew 18, especially verse 5: “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

MCC staff are still working on details of this response, and more information is coming.

This is a continuation of long-standing MCC work. For years MCC has provided encouragement and resources to congregations to welcome newcomers to the U.S., worked with Anabaptist churches to provide services for immigrants in the U.S. and supported projects to address the root causes of migration in Mexico and Central America so more people can choose not to leave home.

An MCC U.S. Washington Office action alert with background information, a faith reflection and suggestions for action is online at mcc.org/act-for-migrant-families.


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