Throughout American history, immigrants facing economic hardship, exploitation and nativism alongside the opportunity for a better life than was available in their countries of origin have found solace and support in the faith community, and today is no different.
When families are broken up, people are being rounded up like cattle in and detained in inhuman conditions, and immigrants are getting locked up for months on end before being deported, we’re dealing with more than a law-and-order issue, we’re dealing with a moral one. It’s good to see the Catholic church continuing its tradition of engaging it.
We Believe Colorado, a diverse interfaith coalition of religious leaders working to change the values debate, is mobilizing the Denver faith community to defeat Denver Initiated Question 100–a ballot initiative that, if passed, would require police to impound the cars of unlicensed drivers “suspected of being an illegal alien.” As We Believe Colorado and other immigrants’ rights advocates point out, the measure, which will be on the Denver primary ballot on August 12, all but mandates racial profiling and acts as a divisive force in the community.
At a July 28 press conference co-coordinated by FPL, Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders from Latino, white and black backgrounds stood as one to say that the Denver faith community opposes discrimination and racial profiling, and that they’re mobilizing their congregations to defeat Initiated Question 100. It’s a great example of the faith community taking action in the public square for the common good.
Reacting to recent visits by Sens. McCain and Obama to the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy community in the U.S., Kety Esquivel of The Sanctuary and CrossLeft, talks about the spectrum of concerns among Christian Latin@s, including health care, immigration, and education.
Alien. Illegal immigrant. Undocumented worker. Human being.
When we talk about immigration, which phrase is most often left out?
More than perhaps any other issue, immigration can devolve into back-and-forth rhetoric that denies the humanity of its subjects, casting them as faceless, nameless problems rather than people with real hopes and fears. In a debate that often references what language people speak, we allow the language of immigration to become undignified and un-dignifying.
Fortunately, affirming humanity continues to be a top priority for people of faith looking to shape immigration policy. A courageous group of Iowa faith leaders, for example, recently called for a more humane policy by discussing “basic human decency” and expressing the need to respond to “God’s call to feed the hungry, cloth the naked and visit the imprisoned,” according to Christian Post’s Ethan Cole.
“They’re counting on us to stop the hateful rhetoric that is filling our airwaves — rhetoric that poisons our political discourse, degrades our democracy and has no place in this great nation,â€ Obama said. “They’re counting on us to rise above fear and demagoguery and pettiness and partisanship and finally enact comprehensive immigration reform.â€
This improved tone is finally starting to eclipse the hateful rhetoric surrounding comprehensive immigration reform and presidential primary ads that blamed immigrants for everything from economic hardship to terrorism. McCain and Obama should be encouraged to continue down a path of reason and compassion in the hopes that others, from thought leaders to everyday folks, will follow suit.
The largest workplace raid in Iowa history Monday resulted in the arrest of more than 300 people and reignited the debate over immigration.
As two law enforcement helicopters hovered overhead, dozens of federal agents descended on Agriprocessors Inc., the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse.
The 300 people arrested represent almost one-third of the plant’s 968 workers, and federal officials said the number of arrests could increase.
Fearing the return of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, hundreds of Christian immigrants wait at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Postville, Iowa for any word on their missing family members.
After watching this video, do you think that Sr. Mary is right to note the personal aspect of the immigration raid. She compares the ICE comment about the law with its personal impact. Is that a fair comparison for a follower of Jesus Christ to make?