UUs Join MA State House Rally Urging Gov. Patrick to Say “No” to Secure Communities Program
Post submitted by Alex Kapitan, UUA Congregational Justice Administrator
Yesterday morning UUs joined a coalition of immigration advocacy groups and supporters to stand on the side of love in front of the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This federal program ensures that all fingerprints taken at local police stations are automatically run through federal immigration databases. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) then transfers whoever they think might be “deportable” straight into the detention and deportation system.
In the meantime, individuals are deprived of all legal representation and due process and cannot be released on bail.
Far from making communities more secure, such a program breaks up families, makes the public afraid to report crimes, and increasingly pushes the United States toward a future as a police state.
Among the rally’s speakers was Rev. Fred Small, minister of First Parish Cambridge, a member of the New Sanctuary Movement. Rev. Small passionately proclaimed:
We are here this morning to stand on the side of love with immigrant families and workers and students. We know that the only secure community is the beloved community.
If the Bible is your authority, hear the Book of Leviticus, chapter 19, verses 33 and 34: “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
Following the rally a delegation delivered a letter directly to Gov. Patrick’s office, calling on him to publicly reverse his decision. The letter was signed by 30 organizations, including the Unitarian Universalist Association.
We need your help to remind the governor of his campaign promises to support immigration reform.
Please call Gov. Patrick at (617) 725-4005 and ask him not to sign onto the ICE Secure Communities program. Tell him that we need programs that help immigrant families—not ones that criminalize their communities, instill fear, and encourage racial profiling.