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A call for help from Arizona

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Jul 08, 2010

The message below went out to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. You can sign-up for these emails here.

Dear Friends,

My refrigerator is covered with pictures of family, friends, children, library receipts and my son’s artwork. However in Arizona, parents who are undocumented are clearing their refrigerators and placing prominently on them a single sheet of paper.

This one piece of paper tells social services what to do with their children if they are arrested.

What is happening in Arizona to families is wrong. Taking parents away from their children is a violation of human rights and of Love’s law – of God’s law. When families are being terrorized, I must stand up for what my faith tells me is good and right. And I need your help.

Can you join me in Arizona to stand in witness?

I am asking you to come to Phoenix from July 28 – 30th to be a part of the National Day of Non Compliance with SB 1070. On July 29th, the day SB 1070 goes into effect, Maricopa County law enforcement has announced major sweeps and raids to implement the law. Whether or not the law takes effect that day, all will be needed — particularly ministers, with your collars on — to witness and support families.

We need at least 200 clergy and laity from across the country to come and support the human rights movement here on the ground. Thanks to a generous donation from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, we can provide assistance with travel to those who most need it. We can also help with home hospitality.

Sign up to find out more about what you can do to help these families in Arizona.

I am giving up my vacation. Our music director is ending her vacation early. Others will be making sacrifices to be here. If you cannot be here for the full time, or if you can come earlier or stay later, we will need you however and whenever you can be here. Now is the time to stand up, to lift our voices, to be powerful witnesses for love in the face of fear.

Please join us as we stand with immigrant families in Arizona.

Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

P.S. If you cannot make it to Arizona to help families on the ground, we can still use your help. Can you make a donation to support Standing on the Side of Love immigrant justice work?

8 Responses to “A call for help from Arizona”

  1. Paula Linn says:

    Rev. Susan,

    Please email me with the source of the following quote from your article:

    “On July 29th, the day SB 1070 goes into effect, Maricopa County law enforcement has announced major sweeps and raids to implement the law”

    Thank you,
    Paula Linn, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia

  2. Patrick Fleeharty says:

    Why is the GA still being held in AZ? Can’t the location be changed?

  3. Emily Helton-Riley says:

    Paula, according to The Associated Press (June 15, 2010) Sheriff Arpaio is planning his 16th immigration sweep on July 30th, just 1 day after the new law takes effect.
    Here is the link I located in answer to your question to Reverend Susan: http://www.kswt.com/Global/story.asp?S=12655784
    I do not know where my minister received her information but it appears accurate from what I have located when searching for your answer.

    Emily
    UUCP member and ULC minister

  4. Emily Helton-Riley says:

    Here is a more accurate website. The one I listed before is of a sweep Sheriff Arpaio just completed. There IS one planned for July 29th:
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/07/15/20100715joe-arpaio-immigration-sweep-vekol-valley.html

    Emily
    UUCP member and ULC minister

  5. Mary Decker says:

    I am having trouble understanding how helping people who broke the law and protesting aginst people who want the laws of the United States of America inforced is right or just.

    Laws are writen for the good of ALL people. Law is the great equalizer. A law MUST be followed by the rich and the poor, the Democrat and the Republican, the young and the old, The Jew and the gentile, the white the black and the Brown.

    Laws are ment to protect all of us from harm.

    Most People follow the laws and those that do not should not be sheltered from their responsabilitys under the law.

    It is loving of a parent to teach their children that when you make a choice to follow the laws of you family or your country or your god you will reep the reward of that action.

    On the other hand it is Loving of Parents to tech that if you break the laws of family, country or of your god that their will be some kind of punishment.

    To let people choose what laws they do and do not want to follow is just wrong in my way of thinking.

    I do not break the law and I know many other people that do not break the law and none of us would. If we do not like a law we must truly understand why we do not like the law ( is it for selfish reasons or the good of the community as a whole) if it is not for a selfish reason then we would lobby to change the law. We would lobby with reason and Community benifit on our side, Not with nasty signs and unruley crowds chanting and marching. A calm discussion on the law and how it is benifiting the community at large or how it is hurting the community at large.

    Why should anyone follow the laws of this Nation if a privlaged group gets to pick and choose the few laws it wants to follow and those it chooses to disregard?

    What about the people that follow the law and do what is right ? Is it fair to make them pay any kind of price for people that choose to break the law ?

    The People that are in this country Legaly did the right thing and came her in the correct way and are following our rules and laws. They are an asset to this great countyr of ours.
    Those that come and break the law are taking from this country and giving back very little. In fact if you add it all up they take way more then they give.

    Why should people that break the law benifit from their crime when there are good honest people waiting to get in that have followed the rules ? No one should benifit from a life of crime.

    please help me to understand how you feel it is ok to protect and protest for people that break the law and to not be protecting and protesting for those that follow the law ?

    Sincerely,
    Mary E. Decker
    decker830@pure.net

  6. Rev Jade "JD" Benson says:

    Dear Colleagues, I will be among those of you who are present in witness on July 29 AND July 30. For those who cannot be among us I agree and support the idea that actions be taken locally—in vigil, in educational outreach, in discussion, in prayer—so that we are truly One and all present in spirit. Let this be a time of courage, truth-telling and presence, a coming together in hope and compassion as we stand up for what we know to be true: that making a just immigration policy needs to be front and center in our nation’s consciousness and such a policy can NOT include terrorizing people of good will, their children, their very lives. For the people!

  7. Kat Liu says:

    Mary, I appreciate your sincere questions. There are many issues here. For example, there are people who oppose legalization for undocumented workers who nonetheless are against this Arizona law. Many people believe that SB1070 will result in even more widespread racial profiling, which violates the rights of U.S. citizens and legal residents who just happen to “look like” they might be undocumented.

    In terms of what you say about the Law, ideally it would be so. The Law *should* be the great equalizer. However, our history shows us that laws quite often favor the rich over the poor, whites over people of color, straights over gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender… When it does, it’s our job as people of faith to oppose the law. We can do this by discussion and lobbying, and/or by rallies and marches. The latter are part of our U.S. heritage. The advances of the Civil Rights movement and the hastened end to the Vietnam war were both won in large part by strategic marches and rallies.

    Lastly, the vast majority of those who immigrated here “illegally” work very hard in this country for little pay and often under unsafe conditions. For example, over 50% of the farm workers in the U.S. are undocumented. Their cheap labor means that we pay less for fruits and vegetables. We also pay far less than we otherwise would for yard work, hotels, restaurants, construction… In truth, most undocumented workers are not taking advantage of us; we the consumers are taking advantage of them. And because of their undocumented status, they have no recourse if their employer abuses them or refuses to pay them. No one would choose to come into this country illegally to work with no protections unless they were desperate.

    Unfortunately, our current immigration system is such that the wait to come here legally can take years, even in some cases decades. When parents have children to feed and cannot find work in their homelands, they cannot wait years to come here for work. When spouses are separated from each other, they cannot wait a decade to be reunited. In the majority of cases, it is unfair to characterize those who enter the country without documentation as “choosing” to break the law, as if they just didn’t care. An “enforcement-only” immigration policy is inhumane. Let us work together to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would allow people to immigrate legally, unite families, and protect all workers.

  8. Peter Wilson says:

    Done!

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