September 24, 2021
To all who hold seats of power,
The prophet Micah reminds us of our human clarion call for all people: “God has told you; O mortal, what is good, and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?" (6:8) What is occurring at our southern border and in Haiti does nothing to come close to a shared call to justice, love, or kindness.
The crisis at our southern border and the circumstances in Haiti that spawned this migration is a scandal of our shared humanity. Pictures of US Border Patrol agents on horseback rounding up Haitians or pushing them back into the Rio Grande are reflections of this country’s original and enduring sin of white supremacy and its history of slavery, Jim Crow, and criminal injustice that spawned a Black Lives Matter movement.
Haitian lives matter. Those who are gathering at our border want nothing more than to feed their families, find a new life, and to escape oppression and danger. Rounding up Haitians, deporting them back to Haiti, and dropping them into a place that is rife with danger, disease, street violence, food scarcity, and negligible economic activity is a cruel response. Most being flown back to Haiti left there after the 2010 earthquake, migrated to Chile and other countries south of us, and are now stepping off of an airplane into a country they do not know.
As people of faith, mercy, compassion, and the mandate to welcome the stranger in our midst should inform our treatment of our Haitian siblings. Moreover, the situation today in Haiti itself deserves our attention. We not only share this planet together; we also share this hemisphere. The migration of Haitians and their desperate efforts to find new life will continue until Haiti returns to stability.
As Jesus tells us, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." (Matthew 25:40) There is never a human being that when we look into their eyes, we do not see the very face of God.
The way in which our Haitian siblings are being treated is repugnant and reprehensible. If we believe that we are a country for liberty and justice for all; it has to be for all. Not some of us! I prayerfully and strongly implore you to use your elected voice to make a difference in the lives of these dear ones. These “least of these”. Help make the arc of the moral compass bend toward justice.
Actively hoping for a fairer and more just world!
+The Reverend Kevin L. Strickland, Bishop
p.s. For a downloadable copy of Bishop Strickland's letter, please click here.
Please support Bishop Strickland’s message to our elected officials by taking action to contact your elected federal representatives and ask them to end the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees at the U.S. southern border.
How to contact your elected official
This link will take you to the public website to connect you with the President, U.S. Senators, Congressmen, State Governors, State Legislators, and even local elected officials such as Mayors and County executives.
If you have not contacted elected officials before, please find some helpful guidance below
When you click down to the chosen elected official it will give phone, mailing, and email information. Sometimes, instead of listing an email address it will open a “form” for you to complete. Completing that form will get the message to the elected officials.
Keep your message brief: “I am a voter in your district, and am in favor of _______ (or: asking you to _____, etc.). If sending an email be sure and list your “ask” in the subject line: “Please vote “yes” on _____” or “Please do not support HB100” etc.
Elected officials (and their staff) keep track of the volume of calls, letters and emails they receive on a topic. Your voice matters!