This article was written by Heidi Ortiz a Justice For Our Neighbors Volunteer (DFW). I pray that hearts will be opened after reading this first-hand account of solidarity with our refugee brothers and sisters at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.
On Sunday morning, January 29th, we received the message via Facebook. People with valid visas and permanent residency cards (green cards) were being detained at DFW airport. We decided instead of attending Keller United Methodist Church, we should immediately go to the airport to show our support. Rumors were circulating that officials were pressuring the detained to waive their rights and get on an 11 AM flight out of the country. We loaded the kids into the car, said a prayer, and were on our way.
At the airport, there were people of all different types, and many families with kids. The airport police were visible and courteous. As long as protesters did not get in the way of passengers or airport workers, we were able to chant and hold signs. One of the chants that caught my attention was "free my Grandma." Later I learned via the
Dallas Morning News that a number of the detained were elderly with health issues. Someone had brought supplies to make posters. For myself, I made a sign that says, "Jesus stands with Refugees."
In addition,to being theologically sound (indeed, Christ loves all people), I wanted our Muslin brothers and
sisters to know that as a Christian, I was standing with them. Jesus himself was a refugee, fleeing to Egypt after a angel appeared to Joseph in a dream.
(Protest sign says: Jesus was a refugee. Let them in! "Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.")
For my two-year-old daughter I wrote: "Toddlers Stand with Refugees." She has a friend her age whose parents are from Yemen. While their exact status may not be refugees, the mother told me they cannot go back because of the dire situation in that country. Toddlers don't care much about borders -- they just love people.
No one wants terrorists in this country. Unfortunately, so many people are unaware of the different types of immigration to the US. Refugees are fleeing war. Legal permanent residents have already make their home in the US. In both cases, those detained are our neighbors AND they had legal permission to enter our country. This sudden action did not stop terrorists. It was wrong and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to oppose it personally.
Before we left the airport, we stopped to pray as a family. My prayer for you is the same as the one at the airport -- that God will open our hearts to be more like Him, and that He would show us how to love our neighbors as ourselves in these trying times.
("I have a friend and his parents are from a country that Donald Trump does not like.)
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Even though there is a hold on Donald Trump's Executive Action to turn away refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the Executive Action is still very much in the front of Donald Trump's agenda.
You can make a difference! Tell them what you think and how you feel about the Executive Actions
Donald Trump is signing.
Call Donald Trump -- 866-961-4293
Call Your Senators and Representatives --
Sample Script: "I'm your constituent from [City, State], and I support refugee resettlement in the U.S. I am strongly opposed to President Trump's announcement to stop the resettlement of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Even though the Executive Action has been stopped for now, I urge you to do everything in your power to stop the Executive Action and reverse the refugee resettlement program entirely." Thank you.