Civil Discourse

Civil Discourse / Immigration Crisis

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Civil Discourse / Desperation at the U.S.-Mexico Border:
Compassionate Responses to an Immigration Crisis

Month after month, thousands of unaccompanied children and children with their mothers from Central America, Mexico, and elsewhere in Latin America have attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to seek refuge and a new life in the United States. Journalists report that although some may be appropriately called “economic immigrants” attempting to escape from poverty and earn income to support families in their home countries, many are fleeing for their lives from the increasingly ruthless and widespread violence of Central America and Mexico. When they are captured by the U.S. Border Patrol after their hazardous journeys, they are detained, and increasingly they are held in detention centers and subjected to expedited deportation procedures that are designed to return them quickly to their countries of origin.

My guests were staff members of seven organizations that provide services to immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, and that seek compassionate solutions to the current immigration crisis:

  • Rodolfo Acosta-Pérez
    Director of Family Empowerment, Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico – Las Cruces
  • Silvana Arista
    Project Attorney, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Silver Spring, MD
  • Lauren Armstrong
    Immigration Staff Attorney, Catholic Charities Legal Services Program – Las Cruces
  • Tyler Connoley
    Pastor, United Church of Christ, Silver City, and Immigrant Care Coordinator, Southwest Conference, United Church of Christ
  • Brian Erickson
    Policy Advocate, Regional Center for Border Rights, ACLU of NM – Las Cruces
  • Katie Hudak
    Development Director, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center – El Paso, Texas
  • Paul Moore
    Pastor, Church of the Good Shepherd – Silver City

I asked my guests to help us understand the realities that they encounter on a daily basis as they and their organizations offer assistance to immigrants. I also asked them to reflect on the foundations of this immigration crisis – they considered humanitarian crisis a more appropriate term – and to give us their thoughts on appropriate policies. We concluded with suggestions on what concerned people in our own community can do to help.

Would you like to help children and young families who need assistance urgently?

Please contact:
The Reverend Paul Moore, Pastor, Church of the Good Shepherd, Silver City, New Mexico at 575.538.2015 –

Contributions to help produce a brochure with resource information in Spanish for immigrants may be sent to Church of the Good Shepherd, P.O. Box 2795, Silver City, NM 88062. Please write “Priest’s discretionary fund” or “immigration issues” on the memo line.

The Reverend Tyler Connoley, Pastor, United Church of Christ, Silver City, New Mexico, and Immigrant Care Coordinator for the United Church of Christ, Southwest Conference

This edition of Civil Discourse was recorded on August 19, 2014.

Civil Discourse / Immigration Crisis aired on

  • Friday 29 August 2014 / 8pm
  • Saturday 30 August 2014 / 10am
  • Sunday 31 August 2014 / 10am
  • Monday 1 September 2014 / 8pm
  • Tuesday 2 September 2014 / 9am

To hear the podcast at your convenience, jus click this link…

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