WES Blog — Immigration Matters 2019

Progress at WES from Good Intentions to Effective Ethical Advocacy
As U.S. immigration remains saturated with partisan politics, we are painfully aware of the continuing immiseration of people who flee intractable violence and war in hopes of attaining asylum in the U.S.  In the face of cruel family separations, WES proudly flies our banner sign that we support Keeping Immigrant Families Together.

Locally, we live among well over 100,000 immigrants, many of them in need of friendly attention and volunteer support by people of good will. WES members certainly express good intentions to act on behalf of vulnerable children and adult immigrants caught up in anti-immigrant political nets sweeping them into detention and deportation.  We want to emphasize the worth, dignity and humanity that all of us share. So what exactly is our Call to Ethical Action now? As ethical agents, WES members agree that “the smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intentions” (J.J. Duguet, 1649-1733).

The 2019 WES Immigration Support Team wants to sort out our opportunities to most effectively take practical actions now on behalf of children and adult immigrants.  In this spirit, your 2019 WES Immigration Support Team invites you to our monthly open meetings.  We welcome your participation on the second Tuesday of each month, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. Please join us on March 12, April 9, and May 14 at WES. We will highlight, recommend, and plan specific practical advocacy actions.  While our Team meets monthly to discuss and coordinate advocacy actions, we will enjoy refreshments as a supper buffet.  

At this point, we do have specific advocacy actions to recommend that are one-time events, and others that are short, episodic and ongoing.  One example is collaborating with the D.C. First Congregational United Church of Christ to greet cold and hungry refugees arriving by bus from the southern border, to provide a welcome, some warm clothing, and food for their ongoing bus journeys.

Another possibility is volunteering for mandatory training to run an errand to obtain supplies, or even possibly take a four-hour shift at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda.  A mother of three originally from El Salvador is residing in protective sanctuary there while awaiting her deportation appeal. Another option is attending a town-hall meeting or a march or demonstration in support of immigrants.  Even one-time participation as community members effectively draws attention to public opinion in favor of treating our immigrant brothers and sisters with respect. Monday Feb. 25, at Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Roundtable on Budget Priorities, she stood for a photo in the midst of a sea of blue-tee-shirt-wearing Washington Interfaith Network members, including six from WES.

We encourage you to talk with your Immigration Support Team members Sundays at WES, and via phone and email, provide your feedback and suggestions.  

Signed, Katherine O’Kester on behalf of the 2019 WES Immigration Support Team,
with Ross Wells, Kristin Hunter, Judith Johnson, Sue Smith, and Patti Absher