Update: Keep tuned for updated action alerts following Wednesday's executive order. There is still a lot of work to do, especially in reuniting the families that have already been separated!
California Council of Churches is embarking on a nationwide movement with beloved allies to stand against the oppression of immigrant children and their parents. It is https://stopfamilyseparation.org
Why are we doing this?
The actions being taken by this nation against refugees and their children cannot stand. We, as people of faith, must act and do so both in the name of our nation's principles and as those motivated by core faith values.
When our country's Attorney General, Jefferson Sessions can cherry pick Romans 13 to demand that we blindly follow whatever our administration does, we must come back, full tilt, to stand for the fullness of what we believe. The decision to stop refugees who are lawfully applying for legal status and to take their children into custody is neither consistent with democratic laws nor with fundamental human rights nor with our faith teachings in even Romans 13.
We are seeing images that are so appalling, so un-American, we almost have no words. In an abrupt overthrow of existing law, President Trump and AG Sessions have declared that refugees are making illegal entry into our country. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our laws guarantee that those petitioning for refugee status be protected, that families be housed together, while their cases are being evaluated. These are people running for their lives - running from violence in their own countries, running from domestic violence, and threats to their children. They are obeying the laws that are on the books - they are coming into the US at appointed ports of entry - and suddenly having their children ripped away, with no word where they are.
The children are terrified, locked into what are supposed to be temporary holding pens for those waiting for deportation. They have nothing - no clothes, no toys, nothing. Most of all they have no idea where their parents are and the parents have no idea where their children are.
Our elected officials have sought entry into these holding pens to no avail. But the few journalists and physicians who have gained entry at one of the better facilities say conditions are unspeakable. The children are terrified, and there is no system to assure they can ever be returned to their own parents. No records are being kept properly. Only the boys have been seen at a distance. No one knows where the babies and girls have been placed. No one.
Saying this is reminiscent of Nazi Germany is not an overstatement. The same practices exist now that existed then. And this is our nation engaged in this massive abuse of human rights. We are now the nation practicing crimes against humanity.
We all know Scripture calls us to embrace "the alien" recalling the days of bondage in Egypt. When we omit that fundamental moral teaching and blithely replace it with an offhand misinterpreted call to obey are government blindly, we must rise up on behalf of the children and their parents. We cannot let this stand!
Please join us as we begin taking our voices to the public arena to witness for justice and humanity. Please stay in touch with us as we move through this horror to end the inhumanity and threats to these fragile and vulnerable children. We have embarked on a new collaboration in the company of United Methodist Women and our allies at Texas Impact.
We are starting with a petition to AG Sessions and ask that you join us, sign the petition, and begin using your voice as a person of faith to counter the actions of harm made worse by the pretense of religious approval. Well, we don't approve of our government in these actions!
Please sign the petition. Pass it onto your friends, family, neighbors. We cannot keep silent in the face of this despicable abuse of human beings.
We cannot be silent in the face of these atrocities. The faith community must make our beliefs known. Please join us in ending this harm. We must speak out for these children!