The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Visting illegal immigrants

Several ELCA synod bishops toured the Pamunkey [Va.] Regional Jail in May because it houses illegal immigrants among felons.

They went with representatives of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy to the facility that can hold 435 people. About 70 each day are detainees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Julian Gordy, bishop of the Southeastern Synod, said, “It appears to be a very humane place, but it’s a jail.” He criticized the federal government for “dealing with the immigrant issue by locking people up.”


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