Office of Government Relations

Changing Immigration Conversations

June 5, 2024
Office of Government Relations

The U.S. immigration system is in desperate need of reform, and the politics of immigration in the United States are troubling: anti-immigrant and dehumanizing rhetoric is increasing; Congress is unable to act; and the Administration is taking action to limit the rights of asylum seekers. Nearly half of Americans have said they would support mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, and religious groups that carry out a call to serve all of God’s children are being targeted for their care of the most vulnerable.

As followers of Christ, what do we do in such a moment?

In the Office of Government Relations, our focus is on engaging U.S. policymakers and legislators to advocate for the policy positions our church has instructed us to support. We seek to develop relationships with Congressional offices to better understand the possibilities for legislation. We share perspectives with Administration officials and urge them to put in place policies that are humane and compassionate. We offer ways for our Episcopal Public Policy Network members to be engaged.

As Episcopalians, we ask that you also be involved in this moment.

Advocate. Take action on the OGR action alerts and let your members of Congress know that you prioritize immigration reform. There are FOUR different alerts to take action on—and we hope you can write about all four, and even write again if you have already taken action on these topics. We are calling on Congress to:

Protect dreamers

Find alternatives to detention

Support LGBTQIA2S+ migrants

Support Afghans in having legal status

You can also share our statement on protecting the right to asylum. There is also the opportunity to engage at the state and local levels to ensure that your jurisdictions are supporting migrants as much as possible.

Support local ministries. Communities across the United States have migrants – from longstanding community members who are undocumented to recently arrived asylum seekers to refugees and DACA recipients. Learn more about your local ministries and how you can support those in need!

Change the conversation. For Congress to enact legislation that we support, the politics of immigration need to change – with so many Americans supporting mass deportations and members of Congress winning elections on anti-immigrant platforms, we need to shift public opinion to have a chance at successful legislation. We need to educate our neighbors that immigrants are part of our communities and benefit all of us. We need to clarify misinformation that wrongly equates vulnerable migrants with drug traffickers and other false narratives about immigrants. We need to share stories of the successes of how we can enrich each other by living in community and helping those fleeing persecution and harm. We need take seriously the responsibility to speak with clarity about our immigration system, classifications for immigrant populations, and legal processes as they are now and as we wish them to be.

The Episcopal Church champions and advocates for humane policy towards migrants because of our belief that every human being is a child of God and must be treated with dignity. The Church has advocated for comprehensive immigration reform as an essential part of our call to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Join us in advocating for the rights of all migrants and doing all you can to work towards a more just and compassionate world.

Episcopal Church Resources:


Think tanks and research organizations:

The Office of Government Relations