Supporting Immigrant Families at Augustana
This summer, Augustana’s Church Council decided to involve our church in work with separated migrant families and immigrants in detention. Last fall, our Adult Forum hosted Melanie Schikore, the executive Director of the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants, for an eye-opening discussion about the barriers facing immigrant families here in Chicago and across the country. That seemed like a good place to start. Below is an introduction to ICDI’s important work.
There are a couple of opportunities for you to become involved in work to support local immigrant families. The most hands-on is training this fall for new immigration court observers (see the description below). More information to come, but if you might be interested in this, please contact Pastor Goede.
If you would like to support ICDI with monetary gifts, they are now selling tickets for their fall gala raffle to raise money to support the mission. Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25 donation. Jim Schwab has a supply of raffle tickets and will be present most Sundays for the remainder of the summer; see him if you wish to support the mission of ICDI in this way. First prize is $2,500; second $1,000, and third $500. The drawing will occur September 20 at the 2018 Solidarity Gala at the Misericordia Jean Marie Ryan Center.
July 16, 2018
Thanks to your support, last week we were able to assist a Guatemalan father who had his child taken from him at the border. Juan was reunited with his 3 year old daughter and is now living with a friend while he waits for his immigration case to be heard.
ICDI was able to provide them with clothing, hygiene products, money, and encouragement. Juan told me how grateful he was for the help and I told him how sorry I was for what they have gone through. I cannot imagine what it is like to have your young child taken from your care by the government with no just cause.
Please pray for this tender family and the other families and individuals who are suffering in a broken and inhumane immigration system.
This is no way to welcome the stranger or take care of our brothers and sisters. We know better and we must do better. ICDI is working in the broken spaces:
- four detention centers in Ilinois and Wisconsin where we provide pastoral care to people who are detained including people seeking asylum. We put $10 in commissary accounts with low or no balance
- unaccompanied children’s centers where we provide spiritual care to children who came alone or were separated from their parent
- deportation buses and processing where we accompany families and pray with people being deported
- immigration court where we provide public witness to proceedings and spiritually accompany people in detention who appear by video conference in their own hearings
- post-detention accompaniment hotline where we assist with the needs of people released from detention to the city of Chicago without an orientation or appropriate clothing and who often lack the language and cultural skills to navigate on their own
Additionally we are modeling what should be done instead:
- the Marie Joseph House of Hospitality where we provide case management, connection to services, and community and faith-based support so that people can adjust well and thrive. It’s better for individuals and society too.
We continue to advocate for commpassionate and humane immigration policies and we anticipate helping more families as they are reunited. We can’t do it without you. Thanks for being part of the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants.