The Episcopal Church’s Office of Public Affairs has released this statement:
The Episcopal Church is gravely disappointed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement yesterday that the administration has set the refugee admissions ceiling for next year at 30,000. This is the lowest ceiling in the history of our country and is one more effort to pull the United States back from our leadership in addressing humanitarian crises. Further, the retreat from refugee resettlement flies in the face of our nation’s history of being a place of refuge to persecuted persons. The Episcopal Church, through the ministry of Episcopal Migration Ministries, is committed to welcome for all.
“As followers of Jesus Christ, we are saddened by this decision,” said Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry. “Our hearts and our prayers are with those thousands of refugees who, due to this decision, will not be able to find new life in the United States. This decision by the government does not reflect the care and compassion of Americans who welcome refugees in their communities every day. Our faith calls us to love God and love our neighbor, so we stand ready to help all those we can in any way we can.”
Episcopal Migration Ministries, having resettled more than 90,000 refugees since the 1980s, is the Episcopal Church’s foremost response to refugee crises. Working in partnership with offices and groups within the church as well as with governments and nongovernmental organizations, Episcopal Migration Ministries provides vital services for thousands of refugee families upon their arrival in America: English language and cultural orientation classes; employment services; school enrollment; and initial assistance with housing and transportation. For each family, the goal is self-reliance and self-determination. After years of living in limbo, refugees have the opportunity to begin again on a strong foundation that honors their stories and dignity, thanks to Episcopal Migration Ministries. Support EMM as we continue to welcome newly arriving refuges and support those families already here: www.episcopalmigrationministries.org/give.