Minute regarding refugees and immigrants

At a Called Meeting for Worship with Attention for Business, Ninth Month 24, 2017, CFM adopted the Durham Monthly Meeting’s minute (see below) as ours and agreed that as we use it we will credit the Durham Meeting.

"The Columbia Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) calls upon our representatives in government to keep the United States open to all refugees and asylum seekers, and to treat with kindness and compassion all immigrants seeking a life among us. Quakers believe that there is that of God in everyone, and that each person is equal in moral and spiritual stature. Quakers have long testified to the equality of all people. We reject divisions among us based on nation of birth, language, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or race as a violence to the Spirit. For over 300 years, Quakers have welcomed strangers to our homes and communities when they have been known to be under great personal threat or economic deprivation. These included prisoners of war in the Irish War of 1690, Finns who suffered from the British fleets during the Crimean War, enslaved Americans fleeing to freedom from the antebellum South, and victims of war on all sides in World Wars I and II, the Spanish Civil War, and the Vietnam War. At this moment in history when millions of refugees and asylum seekers flee violent conflict, and migrants flee economic deprivation and rampant violent crime in their home countries, they look to the United States for refuge and asylum and find us turning our backs. We are deeply troubled by the recent actions and words that have come from our representative government rejecting and vilifying immigrants to our country – refugee, asylum seeker, documented and undocumented. We are saddened by the seeming cruelty and indifference of some of the policies and actions towards people born elsewhere who have come or desire to come to the United States seeking a better life. We have witnessed agents of our government, acting in our name, using physical violence and deception to separate people from their homes, families, and communities based on distinctions in immigration status that exist in law, but that have no moral significance. We have seen hundreds of thousands of people in the most desperate of circumstances, fleeing war and violence and poverty, only to be cruelly told they are not welcome here and turned away.

These actions taken by a government that acts in our name shame us deeply. Our faith teaches us that it is our moral and spiritual responsibility to open our hearts, homes and communities to others. Failure to do so only alienates us further from one another and from the Spirit. As stated before, we call upon our representatives in government to keep the United States open to all refugees and asylum seekers, and to treat with kindness and compassion all immigrants seeking a life among us.” (Credit: Durham Monthly Meeting)