At the 2019 Mennonite Church USA Conference in Kansas City, delegates passed a statement on the abuse of child migrants.
“As a historic peace church founded on the principle that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection call Christians into reconciled, righteous, and right relationship, Mennonite Church USA finds the treatment of immigrant families and children at the border, as well as around the nation, a horrific violation of the Image of God and God-given human rights.
As disciples of Jesus called to care for those in need, we believe the actions of the U.S. government are unconscionable, and we condemn these practices and commit, as peacemakers, to building better processes for migrants.
Jesus reminds us the greatest commandment is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and the second, which emerges from it, is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” When asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus made clear the neighbor is anyone whose path crosses ours at a time when they are in need. Across the country, our congregations’ paths are crossing with those of undocumented families in need.
The current treatment of migrants at our border directly limits our Vision of Healing and Hope to “grow as communities of grace, joy and peace, so that God’s healing and hope flow through us to the world.” The United States government’s policies also obstruct the purpose of Mennonite Church USA to “nurture missional Mennonite congregations of many cultures.” Those crossing the border include members of our congregations and fellow members of the body of Christ. We are a diverse denomination with many immigrant stories, and the migration story unfolding at the border and around the United States is our story, too. Jesus himself was an undocumented refugee in Egypt as an infant fleeing the cruel hand of King Herod, and when he returned to his homeland, demonstrated hospitality to the immigrants and ethnic minorities he encountered.”