In the last few days of 2015 the Department of Homeland Security engaged in round ups of Central American undocumented immigrants throughout the country. We have already heard reports that round ups have occurred already in East Boston, Chelsea, and Revere. We denounce this new policy of targeting our Central American sisters and brothers who have come to our communities seeking refuge from unspeakable violence.
We are horrified that the Obama Administration would start the year off with a massive national campaign to tear refugee families apart. Our congregations work to uphold the dignity of every human being and we are committed to standing with and defending those most vulnerable among us. Our faith traditions teach us that we are all interconnected. Therefore, we lament the fear and pain being inflicted on undocumented people in our communities and throughout the nation.
People fleeing persecution and violence should be given the opportunity to apply for asylum and other types of humanitarian relief and not be sent back to situations which may lead to death.
During Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia, MCAN leaders heard the Pope declare: “Families have a citizenship that is divine. The identity card that they have is given to them by God.”
Know Your Rights Resources:
For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 7, 2016
Contact: Kawana Lloyd, PICO National Network, 202-544-8411, ext.110
Washington, DC—Dozens of faith leaders with the PICO National Network, along with Eddie Carmona, Director of PICO’s Campaign for Citizenship, and Onleilove Alston, Executive Director Faith in New York, release the following statement in response to the flood of raids by the Department of Homeland Security to deport families and children:
PICO’s faith communities across our nation are calling on the Obama Administration and the Department of Homeland Security to put an immediate end to these raids. We will not stand by as our communities are being devastated and we will take all measures necessary to fight and protect our families.
This past weekend alone, more than 100 people from immigrant families were targeted and detained for deportation. These people and their families are fleeing extreme violence and other threats in their home countries, and the DHS is putting them at risk for more distress and more trauma
We were thrilled when President Obama issued executive orders for immigrant families last November, but these raids demonstrate, once again, that broken politics and systematic racism deems some people more worthy of relief and asylum than others.
Our sacred text states: “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 (Leviticus 19:33-34).”
“God does not have borders. Our families deserve God-sized dignity and real opportunities for a hopeful future— not more fear, anguish and sorrow.”
Statements from faith traditions on immigration:
The Catholic Church:
The Episcopal Church:
In Spring 2014, MCAN immigrant leaders gained important legal training and assisted their fellow immigrants in filling out the DAPA and DACA paperwork. We assisted 1,000 undocumented immigrants with signing up for this legal protection, which unfortunately is caught up in the courts. We will hold a second round of clinics when the federal program is up and running. From these clinics many new immigrant leaders have become active in our community organizing. In late 2015- 2016, immigrant leaders will choose a campaign to focus on. This could include local immigrant issues, driver’s licenses, economic justice, or other campaigns.