This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University’s College of Law, Refugee and Forced Migrations Studies Program and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. The podcast opens the new year with a request to consider how our biblical and national founding narratives offer us an opportunity to reconsider how we as individuals and a nation should respond to asylum seekers fleeing danger in their homelands.
The biblical narrative stories can be found in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 2:1-19.
The TRAC data base from Syracuse University provided the information on the 22,068 individuals in detention. See: https://trac.syr.edu/immigration/detentionstats/pop_agen_table.html
The American Immigration Council’s report on individuals in detention and the number of unaccompanied minors in detention can be found at: “Rising Border Encounters in 2021: An Overview and Analysis” See: https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/rising-border-encounters-in-2021
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights provided the number of over 70,000 individuals trapped in Mexico under the MPP, the stories of the children cited in the podcast, as well as additional stories of children trapped in dangerous situations under these policies. See: https://www.theyoungcenter.org/mpp-harms-children
The National Immigrant Justice Center documents that thousands more have been denied the opportunity to apply for asylum by the continued implementation of the Title 42 program and expansion of the MPP program. “NIJC Condemns The Biden Administration for Reinstating The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). See: https://immigrantjustice.org/press-releases/nijc-condemns-biden-administration-reinstating-migrant-protection-protocols-mpp (October 15, 2021).
Marilynne Robinson, in her essay in “Old Souls, New World,” discusses the democratic principles fostered by many of the Puritans coming to New England in What Are We Doing Here? Essays, (NY, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2018), 274, 291-92.
The Walter Brueggemann quote can be found in his book, The Land: Place as Gift, Promise and Challenge in Biblical Faith (Minneapolis, Fortress Press, 2002), 10, as cited in Craig B. Mousin, “Constantine’s Legacy: Preserving Empire While Undermining International Law,” 389: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3960335
Rev. Ted Conklin’s full poem, “Displaced Person” was cited in an Advent meditation by the Rev. Thomas N. Mousin, “Keeping Advent, Saturday, December 11, 2021” at: https://thomasmousin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Keeping-Advent-December-11-2021.pdf
The full poem of Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman’s, “The Work of Christmas Begins” can be found at: https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/now-the-work-of-christmas-begins/
Ponder anew how we can offer hospitality to those seeking safety in this new year and then follow Rev. Drs. King and Thurman: go forth to “find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner.” We will be providing additional information on other action steps in subsequent podcasts.