Official Seal of the General Convention
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D033 Supporting Refugee Rights in Central America
Topic: Refugees

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Ms. Sarah Lawton

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Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 78th General Convention acknowledge the continued violence against and displacement of citizens in Central America’s Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador), perpetrated by armed state and non-state actors, and calls upon The Church and regional governments to affirm and support the work of civil society and international organizations as they address the needs of the displaced in their countries of origin; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church support the efforts of civil society groups and regional bodies, especially the work of our sister Anglican province La Iglesia de la Region Central de America (IARCA), the Diocese of Honduras, and human rights organizations, which seek to address the root causes of violence and engage in advocacy and dialogue with their governments to serve the needs of and create safe spaces for internally displaced persons and refugees; and be it further

Resolved, That in solidarity with IARCA’s work to push for accountability by the governments of their region, The Episcopal Church advocate for the United States government to play a positive role, to strengthen legal institutions through financial support, and to encourage the governments of Central America and Mexico to acknowledge and uphold the legal rights of the displaced, asylum seekers, and victims of crimes perpetrated by armed groups and/or state actors; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church acknowledge the regional nature of this migration and call for a robust, holistic, regional humanitarian response from the United States government and its allies that addresses the root causes of violence (including the deportation policies of the US government, arms trafficking, and drug consumption in the United States), in the region; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church affirm the universal right to seek asylum; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church advocate for increased access to and funding for legal orientation programs and legal representation for Central American refugees and asylum seekers and that congregations engage in community efforts to provide pro bono legal services to refugees and asylum seekers in need of representation; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church call for an immediate end to the inhumane practice of detention of women who arrive in the United States with minor children (“family detention”) as a response to this refugee crisis; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church call for the immediate release of detained asylum seekers (particularly those who are LGBT, indigenous persons unable to communicate in English or Spanish, and persons who have disabilities or life-threatening illnesses).