Posts Tagged ‘Immigration’
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.
We are standing on the side of love with the 31 Unitarian Universalist clergy and leaders who got arrested as part of the July 31 Pray for Relief actions in front of the White House to stop deportations.
While many of the people arrested echoed the sentiment that theirs was a small sacrifice compared to the daily struggles many immigrants face, we are grateful for their witness nonetheless!
Thank you to these brave souls.
1. Rev. Lora Brandis, UU Justice Ministry California
2. Rev. Evin Carvill Ziemer, Central East Regional Group, UUA
3. Laura Davis, Palomar UU Fellowship
4. Rev. Barnaby Feder, Champlain Valley UU Society
5. Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, UU Congregation of Phoenix
6. Rev. Fred Hammond, UU Congregation of Tuscaloosa
7. Carolyn Howe, First Parish Northborough, UU
8. Dee Idnani, UU Congregation of Fairfax, VA
9. Rev. Carie Johnsen, UU Community Church
10. Rev. Beth Johnson, Palomar UU Fellowship
11. Rev. Susan Karlson, NYC New Sanctuary Coalition
12. Rev. Amy Kindred, UU Fellowship of Charlotte County, FL
13. Rev. Linda Lawrence, UU Congregation of Phoenix
14. Yvonne Marlier, Unitarian Society of Germantown
15. Rev. Kent Matthies, Unitarian Society of Germantown
16. Rev. Kathleen McTigue, UU College of Social Justice
17. Paul Mitchell, UU Justice Arizona Network
18. Rev. Linda Olson Peebles, UU Church of Arlington and UUMA
19. Rev. Amanda Poppei, Washington Ethical Society
20. Rev. Jeanne Pupke, First UU, Richmond
21. John Reed, United First Parish Church
22. Rev. Cathy Rion Starr, Unitarian Society of Hartford
23. Rev. Christina Sillari, First Parish, Portland, Maine
24. Suzi Spangenberg, Seminarian, UU Fellowship of Laguna Beach
25. Carol Stowell, UU Congregation of York
26. Rev. Jan Taddeo, UU Congregation of Gwinnett
27. Rafaelina Veras, UUCY
28. Rev. Wendy von Zirpolo, UU Church of Marblehead
29. Laura Wagner, UU Mass Action
30. Sandra Weir, UU Congregation of Phoenix
31. Ross Wells, Washington Ethical Society
Rev. Kathleen McTigue, Thursday, July 31, 2014
We’re gathered together here as people of faith, as well as conviction. We come from many different faiths, so I wouldn’t presume to know all the reasons so many of you have gathered. But I can tell you why the Unitarian Universalists are here.
We’re among those who find our home on the religious spectrum at the place that is most thoroughly grounded in this world, in this one precious and fleeting life. We are the religious descendants of people who believed that the God they knew, the God of pure love, could want only good things for every human being.
So these ancestors of ours rejected the idea that God has a hell waiting for us after death. Instead, they pointed to all of the ways we human beings create hell for each other, right here on earth. Their faith called them to do something about that very real and present hell. Our faith — the same faith — is calling out to us still.
That’s why we are here, as Unitarian Universalists. We see the hell of hopelessness that’s been created for immigrants who are lost in detention, the hell of anguish when family members are torn away from each other, the hell of fear when people are so scared of deportation that they can’t call the police when they need them. We see the suffering and the deaths caused by turning our borders into military zones. And we see the desperation that drives tens of thousands of children to flee their homes with nothing but a little sliver of hope that they might find safety here.
Religion, at its core, is not about our beliefs. Real religion is about what we do with our beliefs. Our faith calls us to act, in every way we can, to ease the suffering of migrants and to demand justice in our immigration laws. So today we call on President Obama — our elected leader — to lead us now in the right direction, and to join us in standing on the side of love. May it be so.