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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Presbyterian 'zebras' earning their stripes

Standing Guard   (Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim)
Jim Rigby is the “longtime minister” of Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas.  He recently posed these questions:  Do we stand up for human rights now?  Or do we act like zebras on the Serengeti, hoping that the lion eats us last?

Many within this congregation that sits about “three hours from the Mexican border” have risen from their pews.  They have literally opened doors to a mother and son “fleeing civil strife in Guatemala.”  These undocumented immigrants have been living “in the Sunday school teacher’s office” since last spring.

Anticipating a possible Trump “wave of raids and deportations,” Rigby has joined forces with other activists in “sanctuary cities.”  Travis County’s new sheriff, Democrat Sally Hernandez, promises “not to detain people based solely on their immigration status.”  This has not gone over well with Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who has countered with deep cuts in state funding to the Austin area.

Austin activists are thus far standing firm.  They uphold the vital contributions that immigrants have made to local “agriculture, construction and biotech,” while decrying deportations “that have ripped local families apart.”


Copyright February 4, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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