Creating a culture of encounter
My first reaction was negative, until I realized that, heretofore in this democracy, “encounter” has not been a pejorative term. “Creating a culture of encounter” is the theme of National Migration Week 2017 (January 8-14), an initiative of the U.S. Conference of Bishops. Though the effort may be dismissed as parochial, it is one of numerous immigration-related initiatives ongoing and forthcoming in the faith community. It also signals the urgency to concentrate our thoughts and energy on the challenge before us.
The persistance of plans to Build the Wall permeates the nation’s political and social discourse. The leadership of the faith community is needed and readily accessible at this hour.
By training and habit, my inclination is to start with the facts – and there is no better source than Ballotpedia for a profile of immigration facts across the nation:
For an overview of the complexities and legal intricacies of family-based integration the authoritative Congressional Research Service has prepared this excellent report: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R43145.pdf
To understand the human pain of mass deportation read this commentary published in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/27/us-mexico-mass-deportations-refugees-central-america
Resources engaged in Minnnesota immigration issues abound; these are some good starting points for state-specific information – be sure they’ll lead to more –
- http://www.mncompass.org/immigration/overview – Minnesota Compass
- https://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/issues/issues?issue=immigration – Legislative Reference Library
- https://www.ilcm.org – Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
Just a few of the many faith-based Minnesota organizations that are at the forefront – these will lead to countless others:
Stories that illuminate the lives of immigrants:
These are sparks only, the hope being to inform and encourage the community of concern to heed the call to create a culture of encounter. The encounter will fuel the mind and warm the heart.