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Amy White Ezell

Arkansas Conference Response to the Department of Justice’s Separation of Immigrant Families at the Border

LITTLE ROCK, AR (June 21, 2018) – At the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church’s Annual Conference in Hot Springs, June 17-20, the body voted to pass a resolution urging the U.S Department of Justice to immediately discontinue separating children from their families due to the “zero tolerance policy.”

The United Methodist Social Principles includes an important section regarding immigrants, called the “The Social Community: Rights of Immigrants,” in which it states, “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God…We oppose immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children, and we call on local churches to be in ministry with immigrant families.” (paragraph 162.H)

Bishop Gary E. Mueller reaffirms the rights of immigrant families to remain together upon crossing the border, “I am grateful that the Arkansas Annual Conference adopted this resolution concerning the separation of children and parents at the border. It is my hope, and indeed the hope of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, that the U.S government would end its inhumane policy of family separation and recognize the lasting damage it causes children and their families.”

The Bible repeatedly and emphatically affirms in both the Old and New Testaments that we must treat others, especially refugee and immigrant, with respect and compassion.