During the 2012 fiscal year, the office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that handles deportations removed 409,849 people from this country. Approximately 55 percent, or 225,390 of those removed, were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, but the numbers show the rest were not criminals. (Click here to read the ICE statement.)
"Regardless of how you feel about the immigration issues facing our country today, there are individual people whose lives and families are being impacted," said Tom Pilkington, lay leader for Grace United Methodist Mission Area, which comprises eight churches, including Lake Elsinore, along with Fallbrook, Hemet, Murrieta, San Jacinto, Sun City, Temecula, and Winchester.
Together, the churches are planning a Mission Project to help the people being deported each month.
"Our goal is to build 1,000 health kits that will be distributed to the deportees as they arrive back in Mexico," Pilkington said.
Health kits consist of very basic health aids such as a comb, toothbrush, tooth paste, bandages, nail clipper, soap, washcloth and hand towel, and will be delivered to the Border Mission of the United Methodist Church, according to Pilkington.
The Methodists are encouraging residents to help with the project by dropping by any one of the eight churches and delivering any of the components of the kits. Residents are also encouraged to join on June 1 at one of those churches to help assemble the kits. (Click on the attached PDF for more specifics on the supplies needed, as well as drop-off information and church locations, or call 951-677-6174.)
Today's news marks the second time this week the United Methodist Church has made local news. On May 8, Wildomar City Council unanimously approved the church's offer to conduct a Great Day of Service set for October at the city's three local parks. Click here for more on that story.