Saturday, March 24, 2018

Our Call to do Justice

With Liberty and Justice for All

The Immigrant's Prayer
By Jorge Palacios, Jr.
Our Father who art in Heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Our Father, Father to all the peoples of the Earth, to the most destitute and the most powerful,
Father to those who condemn us and those who welcome us,
Father who protects us, who gives us life and strength to leave the only place we know as home,
may your name be always cherished by our lips, chapped and broken as they may be.
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,

Though we do not feign to understand your will, we pray that it may be done.
Though we do not pretend to know what this new land holds for us, we pray that it may begin to look like home.
on earth as it is in heaven
May our outlook of heaven begin to take form here on earth,
and that our material poverty and struggle may begin to dissipate, making room for our heavenly home.
Give us this day our daily bread;
You, Father, are the source that provides for us, completely.
We rely on you, our rock and our salvation, for hope and for our physical needs.
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us

Many will despise us for the languages we speak, for the color of our skin, and for the lands from which we come.
They will call us trespassers.
Forgive us for seeking worlds for ourselves,
as we forgive those who despise us.
and lead us not into temptation
Do not let us forget who we are, where we come from, and how we got here.
Do not let us, Lord, forget you.
but deliver us from evil.


A Junior studying Religious Studies and Music Performance at Regis University, Jorge Palacios has become a young voice for the rights of the undocumented, refugees, and minorities. Having attended the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice for the last three consecutive years, as well as having spoken on the main stage at the Teach-in this past November, Palacios remains focused to advocating for the marginalized. Palacios hopes, as a child of immigrants, to bring together communities that seem polarized on issues regarding human dignity, knowing what it means to reconcile two different worlds. 
From an Ignatian Solidarity Network Series 2017

All of Michigan is an ICE 'border zone' — here are the rights all immigrants should know

Posted By  on Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm

"Undocumented, unafraid, and unapologetic." - NICK HAYES
  • Nick Hayes
  • "Undocumented, unafraid, and unapologetic."

It's clear by now: the Trump administration is cracking down on undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. In Michigan, several events have highlighted the extent of the efforts so far.

In October 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested and deported a father in Southwest Detroit who had previously been granted a special visa that would allow him to obtain legal status and live in the U.S. in exchange for cooperating with police.

As part of a nationwide immigration sweep, four 7-Eleven stores in metro Detroit were targeted on Jan. 10 by ICE agents as part of an investigation into undocumented workers. At least one 7-Eleven employee was detained, along with 21 across the country.

And then there's the case of Jorge Garcia, a Lincoln Park father who was deported to Mexico on Jan. 15 after living without incident in the U.S. for 30 years.

The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from random and arbitrary stops and searches. However, that doesn't necessarily apply to those who fall within the government’s 100-mile "border zone." Since Michigan is surrounded by the Great Lakes, it is considered such a zone — and the zone covers the entirety of the state, as you can see in this American Civil Liberties Union map. (In fact, two-thirds of the country’s population — more than 200 million citizens — lives within these border zones.)


    Federal agents are granted "extraordinary powers" to search people or vehicles without a warrant in these border zones. But the "extraordinary powers" granted within these zones does not mean federal agents are constitutionally exempt. Agents are not allowed to pull someone over without "reasonable suspicion" of an immigration violation or crime and cannot search a vehicle without a warrant or "probable cause."

    According to the ACLU of Michigan, people have the legal right to tell border agents the following — even if they are undocumented:

    • "I am not required to answer your questions about my immigration status and do not wish to do so."

    • "I do not consent to a search of my belongings."

    • "I wish to remain silent."

    People can also:

    • Video record the interaction.

    • Tell others they have rights and should use them, but do not block officers from performing their duties.

    To learn more about immigrant rights, click here.


    Tuesday, March 20, 2018

    On The Road Again, Soon!


    The bittersweet reality of departure haunts each ending of mission service experience.  I have been a winter Texan two years and I have told God it is OK with me if I have that designation again next year.

    Reality of chores waiting in Michigan is requiring focusing and prioritizing.  Praise God with me that my Daughter-in-law, Gale, has offered to fly to Texas and is going to drive/ride with me cross-country.


    We all have the same amount, but how often it seems to stand still or fly!  Walking in 80+-degree weather while in Texas, January thru March is one of the joys.

    Some white pelicans show up in San Benito every 3-5 years.  This was the year and I was blessed to see them!

    God continues to teach me life lessons because of my “yes” to ministry. 

     Circumstances are gifts for listening and growing in understanding God’s Providence and Prevenient Grace in our lives.


    We are having a national conversation about guns.  It is a needed conversation.

    At the same time, it is morally responsible to include in the conversation the number of deaths occurring because of the guns of war.  

    How many of the bullets bombs and drones  that killed people worldwide have USA stamped on them or were produced by our military industrial complex?

    Statistics of 2017, guns of war.
    Start of conflict
    Cumulative fatalities
    Fatalities in 2017
    ·       Current phase
    23,065[n 1]
    ·       Iraqi Civil War
    North America

    Jesus shows no partiality to country or persons,
    we are all called to nonviolent living,
    “Love Your Enemies.”

    Saying “Yes” to Serve at La Posada

    Tuesday in Texas is the title of the newsletter produced by La Posada where I served.  The statistics below show the realities as of Tuesday 3/20/18.

    Present Client Census: 19 Clients representing 9 different countries

    6  Women:   3-El Salvador, 1-Mexico, 1-Congo, 1-Guatemala
    5  Children:  2-El Salvador, 2-Congo, 1-Guatemala
    8  Men: 1-Mexico, 1-Eritrea, 2-Cuba, 1-Nigeria 1-USA, 1-Cameroon, 1-Congo

    These are names and numbers to anyone who reads this, however, to me, now; they are people who received God’s Prevenient Grace at La Posada.  I have had the privilege of seeing Christ in them. 

    It was my privilege as Sister Therese leads us in the opening of each day of school.  Each day we say the pledge of allegiance and sing together, God Bless America. 

    As part of the cultural orientation in January, Sister Therese taught about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I loved hearing these suffering asylum seekers singing, “We Shall Overcome.”

    It was my joy to see the progress as everyone worked hard to learn English.  For some it was their third or fourth language.  With the young students each week, we were worked on learning the alphabet.  I discovered that for one eight year-old English is the third language going into his head. 
    Serving at La Posada was my joy, joy, joy down in my heart.  We also sang This Little Light of Mine.  It is fun watching everyone do the motions and enjoy singing together. 

    It is a worshipful soul re-commitment for me as I heard the multi-national singers' voices singing of God’s light.  “Jesus gave it to me, I’m going to let shine.  

    The residents are here because of bombs, bullets and violenceJesus is the answer.  

    May rivers of justice flow from each of our choices in our 24/7’s! 


    Finding Family at First United Methodist Church of San Benito was a joy.  

    The United Methodist Women's Unit visited La Posada.

    The discussions in the Sunday school class were opportunities to ponder perspectives.

    The first Sunday I attended, I was invited to sit in the "Michigan Row."   I also was invited to join them for lunch after church.  

    I also attended some events where most live, at Sun and Fun!

    My Added Journey

    I have added another “Yes” to God and am studying to becoming a Certified Lay Minister, CLM, with the United Methodist Church.  I still have CLM course work and other requirements to complete.  An area of my training, interactions with an established congregation, will be accomplished in the family of God that is the Grawn United Methodist Church.  As I learn and serve in the capacity of a Certified Lay Minister, CLM, I look forward to growing in community with all at Grawn United Methodist Church.  Part of my service will be as the Peace with Justice Coordinator for District 2 of the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

    Pray and Act for Peace with Justice