In Matthew 25, Jesus says:
Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…
For followers of Jesus, his mandate to be in relationship with those who are “strangers” is clear.
Our government has determined that 200,000 Salvadoran residents of the United States will be deported and no longer protected under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. In the program’s seventeen years, the United States has become a beloved home for many of these Salvadorans and their families. Every measure of their participation in American life exhibits their integrity and commitment to the welfare of the American community.
This decision threatens our neighbors. The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York has a companion relationship with the Diocese of El Salvador; we support Cristosal in advancing human rights in El Salvador; we regularly travel to and host guests from El Salvador.
As the Bishop of Central New York, I stand in firm opposition to the deportation of people who are part of our American community, whose lives are closely linked with our own, and with whom we share so much. I encourage those of us who claim devotion to Jesus to re-read Matthew 25 carefully and prayerfully: “When you did it to the least of these, you did it unto me.” The decision to deport our neighbors who have been protected by TPS does not represent our Christian values. It is time to respond to this decision out of our moral and spiritual conviction. Please write or call your representatives and continue to pray and work for the dignity of all people, especially the Salvadorans who are so vulnerable in this time.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe
Bishop of Central New York
Visit the Episcopal Public Policy Network for actions you can take to defend TPS.
Download this letter from Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe as a printable pdf: Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe: Decision to end TPS for Salvadorans "does not represent our Christian values."