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Support for Displaced Children

June 6, 2018

United Methodist leaders from the southeastern part of Iowa responded compassionately to the ICE raid at Midwest Precast Concrete in Mount Pleasant on May 9th. Thirty-two families were suddenly dealing with dads and uncles who were taken from their workplace by immigration officers.

The Des Moines Register reported that one teenager, Oscar Lopez, learned that his stepfather was initially detained in Cedar Rapids then later held in the Hardin County jail in Eldora. He had to travel multiple times to Nebraska to arrange for bond payment for his stepfather’s release.

Screenshot (80)First Presbyterian Church in Mount Pleasant was designated as a “safe place” for students and their families affected by the arrests. Church members, pastors, and volunteers from many organizations in the area prepared snacks and were available to talk that day as people waited to hear whether children whose guardians were arrested needed assistance.

Our United Methodist churches in the Southeast District contributed $1,000 toward this effort, using Emerging Ministries funds from our District Askings to help with food and housing assistance for these families.

Iowa WINS, or “Welcomes Its Immigrant Neighbors,” a group connected with the Presbyterian Church, and Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors, a United Methodist immigration ministry, are providing ongoing legal support and advocacy assistance.

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