Immigration

Church Nativity Scene Depicts Holy Family as Caged Refugees

“Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother…”

Facebook/Karen Clark Ristine

A California church unveiled a nativity scene this weekend that depicts Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as refugees in cages.
 
The Claremont United Methodist Church in California says its annual nativity scene always tackles a certain societal issue. In the past, they have featured a homeless Virgin Mary at a bus stop and a young Black man included in a scene symbolizing Trayvon Martin

This year’s display took on President Trump’s harsh family separation policies at the border by putting the Holy Family in cages, a reference to the crowded fenced enclosures at the US-Mexico border.
 
“Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years,” Rev. Karen Clark Ristine, the church’s senior minister, stated in a Facebook post with a picture of the scene.
 
In May 2019, Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez died of the flu while in ICE custody in in McAllen, Texas. He was the sixth migrant child to die after entering the U.S. and being detained in less than a year. According to AP, enough migrant children have been held in U.S. government custody in the past year to overflow a typical NFL stadium.