President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
On July 31, over 100 faith leaders and immigrant rights activists were arrested in front of the White House to urge you to end the inhumane immigration enforcement policies that are destroying families and fracturing our nation. Congress’s refusal to enact immigration reform has ensured that deportations of immigrants continue at an alarming rate. Only administrative action will stop the deportations now.
As you consider executive action to protect immigrant families, we implore you to include three things:
- Stop deportations immediately. Every day, roughly over 1,100 people are being forced from their homes and sent back to countries of origin that many fled for fear of poverty, hunger, and violence. Deportations are not the solution to fixing the immigration system. Stop the deportations. Stop this injustice.
- Expand deferred action to immigrant workers and families. You can use the power of the presidency to keep families together by granting deferred action as you did for the “Dreamers,” the children brought to this country by their parents seeking a better way of life for their families.
- Protect unaccompanied children who have sought refuge within the United States border. Give the children who are fleeing violence in Central America due process hearings to be considered for refugee status. Detentions and deportations are not the answers. Mercy and relief for children desperate to escape gang- and drug-related violence are needed now.
The world waits to see how you will handle our broken immigration system. Will you take the first step to finding a humane solution?
As a nation of immigrants, we must stand on the side of love with immigrant families. As a religious community, we cannot ignore the moral call to help those who are suffering. And as citizens of the world, we must respect the inherent worth and dignity of all.
Rev. Peter Morales
President, Unitarian Universalist Association
Rev. Geoffrey A. Black
General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
The United Methodist Church, Los Angeles Area
Rev. Dr. Susan T. Henry-Crowe
General Secretary, Board of Church and Society, the United Methodist Church
Rev. John L. McCullough
President and CEO, Church World Service
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
This letter was sent to the White House today, providing important follow-up to support the coalition of clergy and faith leaders who took action and engaged in civil disobedience to urge deferred action for the immigrant community and refugee status for children at the border on July 31, 2014.