Creating change alongside the local church
Far too often, the voices of the poor and oppressed—in the United States and around the world—have been marginalized or even silenced. These vulnerable lives and communities need advocates to stand with them. At World Relief Spokane, we believe that the most needed change will not happen without the support and collaboration of local faith communities. As such, our goal is to engage the local church and faith communities in conversations about how we respond as Christians to the refugee crisis and immigration injustices of our time.
An opportunity to stand with the vulnerable
We can all agree that immigration is one of the most significant issues of our time, and we're concerned that the conversation surrounding it is turning in the wrong direction. During the worst refugee crisis in world history, the United States is severely decreasing the amount of refugees welcomed in our country to numbers lower than we have seen in the last 50 years. Additionally, Dreamers are now wondering if they are still welcome in the only country they call home as we continue to wait for a compassionate legislative solution for DACA to be passed. We believe that churches in Spokane have a unique opportunity to stand alongside vulnerable immigrants and refugees in these difficult times.
Education through education and relationship
Often, in our reactionary culture, we choose our stances and move into steps of action before becoming educated or equipped. We avoid major issues in fear of being divisive or misleading. Our desire is to assist the local church in creating a bridge between politics, policy, and our personal convictions as Christians through education and relationships.
Primary Points of Engagement
Advocating for Refugees
We stand by the U.S. Refugee Admissions program in our commitment to serving the persecuted, displaced, and vulnerable. Individuals and families in the program have fled war zones, lost everything, and did not get to choose where they would begin their new lives. They are grateful to now be here on U.S. soil and are raising their families, working jobs and giving back to the communities in which they are resettled. In spite of this, and the massive number of refugees in the world today, the United States is on pace to resettle the fewest number of refugees per year since the Refugee Act of 1980. We believe that a better refugee policy would be to increase resettlement numbers to at least 75,000 people per year, a reasonable admissions limit that America has set for many years. This would be advantageous to our relationships with other countries, benefit the American economy, and allow us to stand with the vulnerable.
Advocating for Dreamers
Hundreds of thousands of children have been brought to the U.S. by their parents as undocumented immigrants. Many of these children have subsequently lived here for most of their lives. They have gone to school in the U.S. and established a life here. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program to allow for a two year, renewable deferral of deportation and ability to apply for work authorization for these young people. More than 800,000 Dreamers have benefited from this policy—and in turn have been able to work, support their families, continue their education, and give back to their communities. Unfortunately, as of September 5, 2018, the DACA program has been rescinded. We believe there is a better way forward.
We are advocating for a compassionate legislative solution for Dreamers that would grant DACA beneficiaries permanent resident status on a conditional basis with an opportunity for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status if they go to college or have worked or served in the US military. We believe in a solution for Dreamers that would not sacrifice the safety of their families nor eliminate current immigration policies that benefit our country as a whole.