A letter concerning passage of the Indonesian Family Refugee Protection Act

December 17, 2012

Louisville

The 220th General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for the passage of the Indonesian Family Refugee Protection Act.  This bill has been introduced in the House and the Senate and would provide a way for Indonesians already in the U.S. to file a petition for asylum, which then would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  This pastoral letter from the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) remembers those in the  U.S. waiting for certainty in their immigration status and urges Presbyterians to take action to pass the Indonesian Family Refugee Protection Act.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ

Greetings during this Advent Season.  As we wait and prepare for God to break into our lives, I would like to bring your attention to the many families who are waiting for certainty in their immigration status.  Since the election, there has been renewed interest in those who aspire to become citizens.  Representatives in the U.S. congress are working together, for the first time in two years, to develop a workable and commonsense approach to immigration reform.

One such population waiting for congressional action is a group of Indonesians who wish to apply for asylum, but have been blocked by a provision in current immigration law.  The 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a resolution calling for the passage of the Indonesian Family Refugee Protection Act (H.R. 3590 and its companion bill in the Senate S.3339).   This proposed legislation would clear the way for certain Indonesians already in the U.S. to file their petitions for asylum.  Each petition would then be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

Many Presbyterians are already working on this legislation and providing hospitality to the families as they wait for the relief this legislation would provide.  I hope that you too will join the effort and urge congress to pass the Indonesian Family Refugee Protection Act by contacting your representatives.  For more information, please contact the Office of Immigration Issues at 888-728-7228 ext. 5007 or 5273. 

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

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