Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Engaging a changing world with
an enduring faith in Jesus Christ

Immigrants, Refugees and Sanctuary

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington voted to become a "Sanctuary Diocese" at its 123rd Diocesan Convention, held at Washington National Cathedral on January 27, 2018. In so doing, the people of the Diocese of Washington declared that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we "take seriously the biblical mandate to 'honor the immigrant in our midst as one of our own' (Lev. 19:34), and in faithfulness to our Baptismal Covenant, [we] oppose policies that target undocumented immigrants for deportation while also placing undue restrictions on refugees seeking safe haven in the U.S."

The resolution asks congregations and institutions in the diocese "to serve as places of welcome and healing, and to provide other forms of material and pastoral support" to immigrants, including "initiatives to engage in education, organizing, advocacy, legal direct action, and other methods as deemed appropriate in each context to ensure the safety and security of all immigrants and refugees."

Download the full text and explanation of the resolution, as adopted, here.

Getting Involved

Following the adoption of the resolution, Bishop Mariann Budde charged the diocese's Race and Social Justice Task Force to form a Sanctuary Subcommittee to begin equipping congregations, clergy, and lay leaders to engage in the work of supporting immigrants. No congregation will be equipped to help in the same way. But each congregation is called to act in ways appropriate to local contexts, capacity, and discernment.

While the Sanctuary Subcommittee proceeds with its work, the following resources are available for individuals and congregations seeking to discern ways to help sooner.

Immigrant Relief Fund/El Fondo de Ayuda para Inmigrantes

 
The Immigrant Relief Fund of the Diocese of Washington has been created to provide short-term crisis assistance to help immigrant families with the expenses of legal representation and to provide temporary emergency aid to a family who has been unexpectedly separated from a family member upon whom the family depends for financial stability. This fund is intended for members of the congregations of the Diocese of Washington. Assistance shall be limited to $2,000 per family unit.

Requests for assistance will be screened by a panel of the Canon to the Ordinary, the Latino Missioner and attorneys with a firm understanding of quickly changing immigration law.

Priority will be given to requests for legal aid where it is determined that there may be legal relief available. Family assistance due to the separation of a breadwinner shall not be dependent on a determination of a possible legal relief.

To apply, the rector or priest-in-charge of the congregation should send a letter setting out the narrative according to the above criteria. Please be sure to include the amount requested and contact information. Please email all documents or mail them to:

Episcopal Church House
Attn: Immigrant Relief Fund
Mount Saint Alban
Washington, DC 20016
 
If you have any questions or desire more information, please email the Rev. Sarabeth Goodwin.
 
To make a contribution, follow this link to the donation page.
 
Proceso de Solicitud
El Fondo de Ayuda para Inmigrantes de la Diócesis Episcopal de Washington ha sido creado para proporcionar asistencia de crisis a corto plazo para ayudar a las familias inmigrantes con los gastos de representación legal y para proporcionar ayuda temporal de emergencia a una familia que inesperadamente ha sido separada de un familiar sobre el cual la familia depende de la estabilidad financiera. Este fondo está destinado a los miembros de las congregaciones de la Diócesis Episcopal de Washington. La asistencia se limitará a $2,000 por unidad familiar.
 
Las solicitudes de asistencia serán revisadas por un panel que consiste del Canónigo del Ordinario, la Misionera Latina y abogados con firme entendimiento de las leyes inmigratorias que está cambiando con frecuencia.
 
Se dará prioridad a las solicitudes de asistencia legal cuando se determine que puede haber un remedio jurídico disponible. La asistencia familiar debido a la separación del sostén de la familia no dependerá de la determinación de un posible remedio legal.
 
Para aplicar, el rector o el sacerdote a cargo de la congregación debe enviar una carta que establezca la narración de acuerdo con los parámetros anteriores. Asegúrese de incluir la cantidad solicitada y su información de contacto.  Enví­e todos los documentos electrónicos o envíalos por correo a:
 
Episcopal Church House
Attn: Immigrant Relief Fund
Mount Saint Alban
Washington, DC 20016

Si tiene alguna pregunta o desea más información, envíe un correo electrónico al Reverenda Sarabeth Goodwin.

Para hacer una contribución, siga este enlace a la página de donaciones.

 

Contact

For more information, or to seek assistance in discerning your congregation's role, contact the Rev. Sarabeth Goodwin at sgoodwin@edow.org.

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