Resolution #1: Migration with Dignity
Last Update: September 3, 2023
Secretary’s note: This resolution remains under review by the Committee on Resolutions, pending a planned conversation in mid-September with immigrant members of the Convention.
Resolved, That the 174th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of California submits the following resolution to the 81st General Convention of The Episcopal Church:
Resolved, That the 81st General Convention, as people of faith who believe that all people are created in the image of God, advocate for Migration with Dignity, a set of immigration policies that assure equal and respectful treatment of all people, whichfollow directly from the teachings of Jesus and our baptismal promise to “respect the dignity of every human being,” while aligning with the world’s other great religions and principled humanism; and be it further
Resolved, That, acknowledging that grave and serious mistreatment of ethnic minorities, migrants, and refugees is currently on the rise in the midst of record migration across international borders, the 81st General Convention, consistent with resolutions of previous General Conventions of The Episcopal Church, declare itself to be in support of Migration with Dignity for all migrants, including refugees, asylum seekers, displaced persons, and those who cross borders in search of opportunity, including the following human rights within the Migration with Dignity framework:
A universal right of movement consistent with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), including freedom to leave and return to one’s country of origin, and freedom of movement within one’s country of origin or country of settlement (UDHR, Article 13).
The right to be secure: from sexual violence including rape and sexual exploitation, human trafficking, slavery, forced labor, and arbitrary and abusive detention.
The right of equality, to include: 1) equal treatment with no discrimination under the law based on color, gender, language, religion, political affiliation, national origin, or disability; and 2) equal opportunity for upward mobility.
Rights to a basic quality of life, including employment rights, housing rights, and food rights.
The right to access services such as health care, education, and legal representation.
Civil and political rights guaranteeing the right to identity, to use of one’s language, and to freedom of speech and religion;
And be it further
Resolved, That the 81st General Convention call upon all Episcopalians, congregations, and dioceses to advocate that local, state, national, and international governing bodies promote Migration with Dignity by enforcing existing laws and policies that uphold these principles on behalf of refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, and displaced persons, and by enacting new laws and policies guaranteeing their welcome, protection, and integration into our common human journey.
Resolved, That this Convention adopts Migration with Dignity as a framework to guide ministry with migrants, including refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced persons, in the Diocese of California, and requests that the diocesan communications office post the Migration with Dignity framework on the diocesan website;
Resolved, That this Convention encourages individuals and congregations to refer to the framework in advocating with local, state, and national governing bodies on behalf of refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, and displaced persons;
Resolved, That this Convention encourages congregations to share with one another their experiences of using the Migration with Dignity principles; and
Resolved, That the 174th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of California directs the Secretary of Convention to send this resolution to the US Senators for California and to all US Representatives whose districts include the Diocese of California.
This resolution reaffirms and updates the Episcopal Church’s long-standing commitment to human rights as they pertain to just treatment of the world’s refugees, asylum-seekers, and all migrants.
The resolution is deeply grounded in Scripture. No moral guidance is more clearly articulated in both biblical testaments than the need to “welcome the stranger.” A few examples:
Old Testament: “Don’t mistreat any foreigners who live in your land. Instead, treat them as well as you treat citizens and love them as much as you love yourself. Remember, you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34).
New Testament: “Be sure to welcome strangers into your home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)
All six of the key elements of the Migration with Dignity framework align with, and can be derived from, the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Episcopal Church has strongly supported this landmark statement since it was initially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
The resolution also accords with and supports key positions of the Anglican Communion. As set forth in the 2022 Lambeth Call on Human Dignity, actions against the human dignity of God’s children, including those against migrants and refugees, are sin, and hospitality to all and faithfulness to each are key marks of a godly community (1 Peter 4:8-10).
As a single, clear, and direct positive statement of principle, the resolution draws together positions that have been affirmed in more than 50 General Convention and Executive Council resolutions over the years. Its concision and clarity in delineating the rights of migrants will help us communicate our church’s stance more effectively, build support, and work alongside other pro-migrant organizations toward a world in which fundamental human rights extend to all people. Many of these previous resolutions advocate government action; the Migration withDignity principles establish rights of migrants that can serve as the basis of advocacy for just and compassionate government policies and practices and as a guiding foundation for action by dioceses, congregations, and individuals in The Episcopal Church.
The resolution, taken as a whole, defines a much-needed, innovative response to the increasing challenge of global migration. Grave and serious mistreatment of ethnic minorities, migrants,and refugees is currently on the rise both in the United States and globally in the midst of record migration across international borders. The number of international migrants grew to 281 million in 2020, meaning that 3.6% of the world’s people lived outside their country of birth that year, according to the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM).
- The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights: org/udhr
- The Lambeth Human Dignity Call of 2022:
3. Analysis of previous General Convention and Executive Council resolutions, correlating them with the Migration with Dignity principles.
The Rev. Ruth Meyers, All Souls, Berkeley; email@example.com
The Rev. Phil Brochard, All Souls, Berkeley
Ms. Laura Curlin, St. Cyprian’s, San Francisco
Mr. Joseph Dashiell, St. Augustine’s, Oakland
The Rev. Kevin Deal, St. John the Evangelist, San Francisco
The Rev. Laura Eberly, St. James, Oakland
Ms. Birgit Eschmann, St. John the Evangelist, San Francisco
Mr. Ron Hermanson, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Ms. Emily Hopkins, St. Paul’s, Walnut Creek
Ms. Sarah Lawton, St. John the Evangelist, San Francisco
Ms. Kaki Logan, All Souls, Berkeley
The Rev. Eric Metoyer, San Francisco Regional Dean
The Rev. Jennifer Nelson, St. Clare’s, Pleasanton, and St. Bartholomew’s, Livermore
The Rev. Cameron Partridge, St. Aidan’s, San Francisco
Ms. Karma Quick-Panwala, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
The Rev. Richard Smith, St. John the Evangelist, San Francisco
Ms. Margaret Sparks, All Souls, Berkeley
The Rev. Liz Tichenor, Resurrection, Pleasant Hill
The Rev. Deb White, Grace, Martinez; Contra Costa Regional Dean