by Julianna Ehlers
In January, I had the opportunity to attend AMMPARO (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities) training at St.Thomas Lutheran Church in Omaha, along with 10 other members from First Lutheran. We spent the morning learning about the program, including a “virtual walk through” the journey of a migrant minor fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras due to a hardship, such as violence or poverty.
In the afternoon we learned how to be “Guardian Angels”, which simply means providing spiritual and physical accompaniment of unaccompanied migrant children through their immigration court process. In addition to the accompaniment experience, we also learned about asylum laws and what to expect and watch out for from a legal standpoint.
I can’t help but put myself in the shoes of these children and visualize how scary and intimidating it must be as they navigate through the courtroom process waiting to hear the fate of their US residency. I’m looking forward to being able to serve as a Guardian Angel.
(Would you like to learn more about what it means to be an AMMPARO congregation and/or The Guardian Angel program? Contact Pastor Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org)