Christian recording artist Nichole Nordeman is stepping into the conversation about the situation along the southern border, asking evangelist Franklin Graham to weigh in on the issue.
In an open letter published Saturday by The Washington Post, the “Legacy” singer asked Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and a big supporter of President Donald Trump, to use his influence to encourage the White House to take action to help migrant children in detention centers on the U.S.-Mexico perimeter.
Several reports have indicated the Border Patrol facilities housing migrant children are allegedly in bad shape, although federal officials have rebuffed such claims.
One of the biggest undertakings of Samaritan’s Purse is its annual Operation Christmas Child, which gives participants the opportunity to put together shoeboxes full of hygiene products and toys for children in need around the world.
In a series of tweets posted last month, Nordeman said she and her kids pack shoeboxes every Christmas and offered to do the same for migrant children currently in U.S. detention centers.
And in her letter to Graham, she pointed out that, during a 2018 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, the 66-year-old minister, the son of the late Billy Graham, called the president’s zero-tolerance family separation policy “disgraceful.”
Nordeman noted that, about a week after Graham spoke out against the policy, the White House reversed it.
“Please ask Trump to sign the emergency legislation just passed by Congress that provides immediate aid and critical resources for children arriving unaccompanied at the border,” the singer wrote.
Nordeman is referring to a bill passed last week by the U.S. House of Representatives, approving $4.5 billion to help manage the influx of migrants descending on the country’s southern border. The Democrat-led chamber advanced the legislation after reports surfaced about the concerning living conditions of a detention facility in Clint, Texas.
The 47-year-old Christian songwriter went on to urge Graham to “ask the president to ensure that our asylum laws are respected, ensuring that no one with a credible fear of persecution is deported to danger.”
“Ask the president to undo the recent policy shift that has already forced 15,000 people to wait for months in Mexico for their asylum opportunity in border cities,” she wrote. “Resources are depleted, U.S. legal counsel is scarce, and children are at risk for traffickers.”
During an interview Friday with Faithwire, Gilberto Corredera, pastor of Prestonwood en Español, said the Border Patrol is short on personnel. After visiting facilities himself and partnering with churches in border towns, Corredera said the situation is “not as simple as maybe the news wants to make it.”
“They are human beings, too,” he said of the border agents, many of whom use their own money to offer the kids food and water. “They have families, they have feelings. … I saw them so compassionate about it, so concerned about it, heartbroken for [unaccompanied migrant kids].”