Biden reversal of immigration policy welcomed
THE reversal of Donald Trump’s immigration policies has been welcomed by the Episcopal Church in the United States. Last week, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to restore the US refugee admissions programme, and promising to raise the number of refugees accepted from 15,000 to 125,000 in the country’s first full fiscal year, which begins in October. Other orders ended the “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum-seekers, and sought to reunite migrant families separated at the border. The director of operations for Episcopal Migration Ministries, Demetrio Alvero, responded: “When there are over 79.5 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, it is imperative that the US reclaim its leadership role on migration issues and continue its long history of being a nation of welcome.” The new policies were also welcomed by the HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), Church World Service, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference, and World Relief.
Order still prays for Sister abducted four years ago
THE Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate, in Colombia, are still praying for the release of a member of their order, Sister Gloria Cecilia Narváez Argoti, four years after she was abducted in Mali, where she was working with impoverished communities, Vatican News reports. They on Facebook: “Dear Sister Gloria Cecilia, we are there for you pleading the Lord to give you strength and protection during your captivity. Your fellow sisters, who love you, are looking forward to seeing you again.” Her kidnappers are linked to al-Qaeda. In January 2018, it posted a video on the internet in which Sister Gloria, who appeared to be in good health, appealed to Pope Francis to intervene; but efforts to secure her release have been unsuccessful.
ACC retains gender-justice post in shake-up
THE position of Director of Gender Justice for the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), which was at risk as part of plans announced last month to restructure the ACC (News, 22 February), is being safeguarded until at least 2023. Several staff redundancies are expected, and the chief operating officer, David White, stepped down last week (News, 5 February), but a review of the gender-justice work concluded that the post of director, held by Mandy Marshall, would be reconfigured so that she will now be project director until the next full meeting of the ACC, an announcement on Tuesday confirmed. The meeting is due to take place in 2023. Ms Marshall said: “This is a huge role, and takes the leadership and priorities of the Primate in each province to set a direction for transformation and change with allocated funding for gender justice.”