From May to August of 2009, OnFire members are organizing a movement "Welcoming the Stranger: in out midst, at the border, out of the shadows." On Wednesdays a (very) short devotion about a specific aspect of immigrant justice will be posted here. On Mondays an article or action alert will appear. In light of yesterday's anniversary of the Postville, IA raid, today's devotion focuses on immigration raids. Thanks to Church World Service for providing the framework for all devotions.
"Don't mistreat any foreigners who live in your land. Instead, treat them as well as you treat citizens and love them as much as you love yourself. Remember, you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt." (Leviticus 19: 33-34)
Raids devastate families and communities.
More than 5,000 immigrants were deported in 2008 as immigration officials entered immigrants' homes during pre-dawn hours and/or invaded their places of employment. Persons arrested in a raid are often detained with little or no chance to contact their families. Their children, many of them US citizens, are left to care for themselves without knowledge of the whereabouts of their parents. Persons allowed to return to their children under house arrest are unable to work to support their families.
Compassionate God, come into our broken midst--into our broken communities, broken families, broken and breaking hearts. We beg of your comfort for the oppressed, for those who as a result of a raid must live unjustly separated from loved ones and homes. We pray for the children, for their cries that often go unheard. We ask for forgiveness for our complicit silence, and for the strength to raise our voices when others cannot. Amen.
Other Resources on Immigration Raids
Effect of Immigration Raids on Children
Examination of the 2007 large-scale raid in New Bedford, MA.
Examination and Analysis of the 2008 raid in Van Nuys, CA.