Episcopal Church Leaders Protest Trump Immigration Policy Outside Detention Center

Jul 8, 2018

Hundreds of Episcopal Church leaders from around the country protested the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy outside a detention center in Taylor on Sunday.

Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

After concluding their convention in Austin, church leaders and parishioners sang hymns, marched and prayed outside the T. Don Hutto Detention Center.

The center houses some women who have been separated from their children at the border after the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policy went into effect in April. That policy led to the separation of more than 2,000 children from their parents before President Trump halted the policy last month.

Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Michael Bruce Curry addresses hundreds who gathered for a prayer service.
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Megan Castellan, a reverend from Ithaca, New York, said as she prepared to come to Texas for the convention, she felt it wasn’t right to stay in Austin and just talk about the Church’s priorities. So, she and other church leaders from around the country planned a service and rally outside of the facility.

Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

“It seemed un-Christian to come to Texas and sit in lovely air-conditioned ballrooms and make pronouncements about the state of the world, when such horrific crimes were being committed in our name just miles away,” she said.

The event came together in a matter of hours, she said, because many fellow church leaders felt visiting the center would provide an opportunity to practice their beliefs.

“The Jesus we believe in called us to side on the part of the oppressed and the suffering,” Castellan said. “When God came to earth, God came in the person of a refugee.”

James Wilson, a reverend from Minnesota and a Liberian immigrant, says the group passed a resolution condemning the policy during the conference. 

“All the church leaders of the Episcopal Church are supporting this resolution that what is going on right now – separating children from their parents – needs to stop,” Wilson said.