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Attention Clergy: Tell Pres. Obama to Stop Separating Children from Their Parents

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Jan 28, 2011

The UUA’s Standing on the Side of Love campaign, along with congregations and individuals around the country, are challenging President Obama’s Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE) ACCESS programs in our communities. While President Obama was expressing his support for undocumented immigrants in his State of the Union address, communities in Washington and Michigan were coping with the aftermath of large ICE raids that separated children from their parents.
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We cannot stand by while people are carted off.

The UUA is taking the lead on circulating a faith letter urging Obama to halt enforcement-only ICE ACCESS programs immediately. These programs are inhumane. They solve no problems.

Major denominational sign-ons to our letter include the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, National Coalition of American Nuns, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and Gamaliel National Clergy Caucus, as well as organizations like Interfaith Worker Justice.

Now, we are asking all clergy to answer the call of justice and sign this letter. Organizational leaders are welcome to sign as well.

Click here to add your name.

The Yakima-Herald reports that some families are in hiding. Some bystanders told the Herald there were children had been left without supervision.

ICE ACCESS is simply wrong, and our group will be delivering this crucial letter from faith leaders across the country to Pres. Obama in just a couple of weeks. We need to remind the President that children cannot thrive without their parents and communities cannot feel safe while they are being torn apart. Urge Obama to halt enforcement-only ICE ACCESS programs immediately and work for real immigration reform that upholds human dignity and worth.

Please add your name and religious title, and stand on the side of love with immigrant communities!

When you are done, don’t forget to share the link with your interfaith allies.

Sign today!

3 Responses to “Attention Clergy: Tell Pres. Obama to Stop Separating Children from Their Parents”

  1. Alex says:

    I agree that these programs are problematic and need to be reformed so that families are not seperated.

    However, it’s concerning that we keep responding to these issues that we’re against without putting forward what we immigration reforms we want to put in place. Are you advocating, on behalf of UU’s, that the US simply eliminate the borders and be unconcerned with who comes into the country? Do we issue an unlimited number of visas to all applicants every year?

    What changes do we really want to see beyond this single issue?

    Alex
    Metro Detroit

  2. I support your effort to keep children from being separated from their parents.

  3. Kat Liu says:

    Hi Alex, good question.

    There are a number of reasons why people immigrate without documentation, but the two main ones are to find work to support their families and to reunite with family members. One ironic result of militarizing our border is that it actually increased the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as people who used to travel back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico instead now stay in the U.S.and have brought their families over. It’s one of the many ways in which our current immigration policies actually encourage undocumented immigration.

    So a couple of the priorities are to:
    1) increase the number of work visas issued each year. Right now the number issued is far less than the number of jobs available, which encourages undocumented immigration. This would allow people to come to the U.S. to work without having to move here permanently.
    2) streamline the immigration process to eliminate the visa backlog. Depending on the country, we are still processing applications for visas that are more than a decade old! And specifically, we’d like for our immigration policies to prioritize the reunification of families.

    There is more information on this on the UUA website:
    http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/issues/immigration/index.shtml

    Hope this helps.

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