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Update: Child Migrants

Page updated August 14, 2014


The Episcopal Church's Response to the Central American Migrant Crisis

Episcopal Migration Ministries remains deeply concerned about the tens of thousands of vulnerable immigrant children forced to flee ongoing violence in Central America. We urge Congress and the Administration continue to provide appropriate, child-centered care for these children, while maintaining access to protection and services for all refugee populations.

“We must address overseas crises and crises in our hemisphere with the same dedication to protection and commitment to keeping borders open to vulnerable refugees, or risk damaging our ability to react effectively and humanely to other emerging refugee situations and protracted refugee situations where partners like Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon are hosting millions of Syrian refugees.” – The Episcopal Church’s Congressional Testimony on Unaccompanied Alien Children.

Episcopal Migration Ministries is currently mapping the work that dioceses, congregations, and our affiliate network partners are doing to address the Central American child migrant crisis. If your diocese or congregation is involved in compassionate response to this situation, please let us know by emailing We are also working closely with The Episcopal Church’s Justice and Advocacy Ministries to connect Episcopalians with needs on the ground as well as to opportunities for sharing information, resources, and mutual support for immigration advocacy and ministry.

Webinar: Central American Migrants: An Episcopal Response

PDF: Powerpoint slides
Video: Webinar live recording
Plus: Webinar follow-up resources

Episcopal Migration Ministries

Central American Child Asylum Seeker Crisis: Backgrounder 
Central American Child Asylum Seeker Crisis: How You Can Help
PDF: Nurturing Communities of Welcome
Sign up: Sign up to receive EMM e-newsletters

Episcopal Public Policy Network Advocacy Center

Website: Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) website
Episcopal Response to Unaccompanied Children at Our Border

Welcoming the Stranger: Advocacy Toolkit

Immigration Advocate Newsletter: July 30, 2014
Sign up:  Sign up to receive EPPN and Immigration Advocacy Network newsletters

Liturgical Resources

Bulletin Insert: Sunday, August 17, Pentecost 10 (A)
: Litany for the Children, authored by the St. Marie Chapter of the Junior Daughters of the King, Holy Family Episcopal Church, Miami, Diocese of Southeast Florida

Episcopal News Service

Statement: Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on the crisis of unaccompanied children at US border
Los Angeles: Religious leaders call for prayer for migrant children

El Salvador: Violence, insecurity, impunity lead to displacement; Faith-based NGOs respond
Article: Unprecedented numbers of children detained crossing the border; Church responds to humanitarian crisis

Mapping the Church's Response

List: Episcopal Response to Unaccompanied Children at Our Border, Resources by Diocese

Have you, your church, or your diocese responded in some way - donation drive, op-ed, sermon, a litany for refugees? Please share it with us so you can be included in our churchwide map, with resources made available by our colleagues at the Episcopal Public Policy Network.

Roster: We are creating a roster of attorneys who have interest in volunteering their time to learn how they may be involved in response to this situation, representing children and families in immigration court. Inquire for more information; training will be provided to attorneys who do not have background in immigration law.  

Social Media

Episcopal Migration Ministries and the Episcopal Public Policy Network are both very active on social media, posting daily with articles, videos, photographs, and more. Please like/follow us to join our online community, share the work you are doing in your own community, and to engage with other Episcopalians on issues of social, environmental, and economic justice, as well as peace and safety for refugees and vulnerable migrant populations the world over.  

Episcopal Migration Ministries


Episcopal Public Policy Network



For additional inquiries please contact one of the following:

·       Questions about how best to respond, serve, or be in relationship with refugees or other immigrant communities;  communication with dioceses across the Church about ministry with refugees, asylees, unaccompanied alien children, and other vulnerable immigrant populations; for partnerships between EMM’s 30 affiliate offices, dioceses and congregations:  Allison Duvall, Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Program Manager for Church Engagement or (212) 716-6027.


·       Information on immigration issues (humane immigration reform, immigrants’ rights, family reunification, refugees and asylees, unaccompanied alien children, victims of human trafficking, and/or other vulnerable migrant populations); information, resources, and mutual support for immigration advocacy and ministry: Katie Conway,  Refugee and Immigration Policy Analyst, in The Episcopal Church’s Justice and Advocacy Ministries in Washington, D.C. or (202) 599-8601.  

We thank you for responding to the needs you see through loving service and for your concern for all refugees and vulnerable people. We hope that you will check this page often for ongoing updates and welcome your continued support of the work of Episcopal Migration Ministries.

Presiding Bishop addresses crisis of unaccompanied children at U.S. border

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued the following statement on the current crisis of unaccompanied children and families at the United States border.

The influx of vulnerable people from Central America, including unaccompanied minors as well as mothers with children, continues to challenge the United States to respond compassionately. Like Sudanese or Syrian refugees, these people are fleeing hunger, violence, and the fear of rape, murder, and enslavement. The violence in Central America has escalated significantly in recent months, particularly as a result of gangs and trafficking in drugs and human beings. These people are literally fleeing for their lives. 

The United States has a checkered history in responding to refugee crises. We shut our eyes and ears, as well as our ports, during the crimes against Jews and other vulnerable persons in the midst of the Second World War. We have been more welcoming to Sudanese youths looking for survival in the last 20 years.

The Episcopal Church believes we have a responsibility to all our neighbors, particularly the strangers and sojourners around us. We have been resettling refugees since 1939. Today, Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) and Episcopal Relief & Development are working with churches and dioceses in areas where these Central American women and children are being served. 

Episcopalians are responding with prayers and concern, and asking how to help. I urge you to remember these people and their difficult and dangerous position in your prayers – today, this coming Sunday, and continuing until we find a just resolution. The Episcopal Church has established an account to receive financial contributions to assist Episcopal Ministries in this work. For details, please contact

Click here for the full statement.