C031 Migration with Dignity

Final Status: Concurred as Amended

Resolved, That the 81st General Convention, as people of faith who believe that all people are created in the image of God, advocate for Migration with Dignity, a statement of specific principles about migration that resonate with the teachings of Jesus and our baptismal promise to “respect the dignity of every human being"; and be it further

Resolved, That, acknowledging the increase of dehumanization of ethnic minorities, migrants and refugees in the midst of record migration across international borders, and that such dehumanization leads to grave and serious mistreatment of these persons, the 81st General Convention, consistent with previous resolutions of the General Conventions of The Episcopal Church, declare itself to be in support of Migration with Dignity for all migrants, including refugees, asylum seekers, displaced persons, and those who cross borders in search of opportunity, including the following human rights within the Migration with Dignity framework:

  • A universal right of movement, including freedom to leave and return to one’s country of origin, freedom of movement within one’s country of origin or country of settlement.
  • The right to be secure: from sexual violence including rape and sexual exploitation, human trafficking, slavery, forced labor and arbitrary and abusive detention.
  • The right of equality, to include: 1) equal treatment with no discrimination under the law based on color, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, political affiliation, national origin; and 2) equal opportunity for upward mobility.
  • Rights to a basic quality of life, including employment rights, housing rights and food rights.
  • The right to access services such as health care, education and legal representation.
  • Civil and political rights guaranteeing the right to identity, to use of one’s language, and to freedom of speech and religion;

And be it further

Resolved, That the 81st General Convention affirm Migration with Dignity as a framework to guide ministry with migrants, calling upon all Episcopalians, congregations, and dioceses to make urgent efforts through direct action to support arriving migrants’ immediate needs for shelter, food, clothing, legal assistance, work permits, healthcare, transportation, etc. and to advocate for Migration with Dignity to local, state, national, and international governing bodies exhorting them to enforce existing laws and policies that uphold these principles on behalf of refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, and displaced persons, and by enacting new laws and policies guaranteeing their welcome, protection, and integration into our common human journey; and be it further

Resolved, That the 81st General Convention call upon the Office of Government Relations and the church’s UN Mission to affirm the Migration with Dignity framework as a tool to guide advocacy for incremental change toward a more humane and just immigration system, while continuing their efforts to support the Global Compact for Migration and other international frameworks, as well as previous General Convention resolutions; and be it further

Resolved, That the 81st General Convention direct the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies to establish a Task Force on Migration with Dignity (MWD) to build on and expand migration ministries in The Episcopal Church and to develop a strategic plan for coordinated, global Episcopal ministry consistent with MWD principles for all migrating persons at all stages of migration. The task force will be instructed to:

  • Inventory current assets and resources for serving and supporting migrants, church-wide
  • Conduct a gap analysis to identify missing elements that could strengthen the church’s response
  • Recommend a coordinated whole-of-church strategy to strengthen our support for migrants, consistent with this resolution
  • Assist with information and resource sharing across the Church;

And be it further

Resolved, That the Task Force on Migration with Dignity consist of no more than 14 members who have direct experience with migration and/or are actively involved in migration-related ministry in The Episcopal Church, and who represent all Provinces, especially those with dioceses outside of the U.S. A minimum of three Bishops shall serve on the Task Force; and be it further

Resolved, That the Task Force report to Executive Council annually during the Triennium and to the 82nd General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention request a budget allocation of $10,000 for the implementation of this resolution; and be it further

Resolved, That the 81st General Convention direct Episcopal Migration Ministries, in collaboration with this Task Force, the Episcopal Migration Response Network, and other ministry partners, to develop and launch a churchwide Migration with Dignity formation program to help all Episcopalians live out their baptismal promises to seek and serve Christ in all persons, love neighbor as self, work for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being; and be it further

Resolved, That the 81st General Convention establish an annual Migration with Dignity Sunday for The Episcopal Church during the season of Epiphany.