The bishop of Long Island’s Episcopal Diocese plans to travel to Tijuana, Mexico, to help the “caravan” of Central American migrants who aim to apply for asylum in the United States.
In celebrating the diocese’s 150th anniversary on Friday, November 16, Bishop Lawrence Provenzano invited those in the audience to join in his mission to help the migrants, Newsday reported.
“Travel with me and stand, literally stand, between these vulnerable people and the people with guns to keep the vulnerable safe, to shield them, to escort them as they seek asylum,” he said.
Ahead of their arrival, President Trump sent 5,000 active duty troops to militarize the border even further, sending a decidedly anti-American message of intolerance to the migrants. And, just weeks ago, Trump issued a proclamation denying migrants from claiming asylum at the southern border.
Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, responded:
“With this proclamation, it is clear that Trump is using asylum seekers as pawns in his ploy to further divide us as Americans– and we will not stand idly by as this happens. We have witnessed this Administration slam the door in the face of refugees before, history will not be kinder this time around,” Choi said.
The Episcopal Diocese is working with organizations like the New Sanctuary Coalition, which plans to set up a safe encampment for 40 days at the border; to train people to assist asylum seekers to prepare their documents before approaching the U.S.; and to help asylum seekers in walking across the border.
Provenzano and the coalition headed toward the border anticipate to embark in the first week of December. For those interested in joining Bishop Provenzano, contact Vicar for Community Justice, Mother Marie Tatro, at firstname.lastname@example.org or diocese communications director Denise Fillion at email@example.com.