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: https://ballotpedia.org/Immigration_in_the_United_States
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 that reflect the current state of immigration in Minnesota abound; these are some good starting points for state-specific information – they’ll lead to more (maybe more than you want to know about the issues…..)
- 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 – Immigra Law Center of Minnesota
Just a few Minnesota organizations that are taking a lead – these will lead you to countless others::
Resources that illuminate the lives of immigrants:
On an ongoing basis follow Greg Aamot’s articles in MinnPost: https://www.minnpost.com/author/gregg-aamot
These are simply sparks that may kindle the quest to create a culture of encounter — encounters of the sort that fuel the mind, warm the heart, build and sustain a just society.