New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
Good afternoon. I am Rev. Bill Sinkford, and I serve as president of
the Unitarian Universalist Association, the first denomination to join the New
Sanctuary movement, and the first call for a moratorium on
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids.
Unitarian Universalists took these positions because we believe our country’s
current treatment of undocumented workers conflicts not only with our faith’s
deepest religious principles but also with the basic goals of the United States
The Unitarian Universalist religious tradition celebrates the inherent worth
and dignity of every person and affirms the need for justice, equity and
compassion in human relations. The recent workplace raids by Immigrations and
Customs Enforcement are an affront to these values.
ICE raids dehumanize immigrant workers and communities. Families are torn
apart, workers arrested and transported without warning to prisons far from
their children and spouses. Detainees are treated poorly in custody and denied
adequate legal representation. Entire communities are left with a pervasive
sense of anxiety.
We hear a lot of political talk about family values. I’m here to tell
you that we value immigrant families.
The Gospel instructs us to ‘love our neighbor as ourselves.’ We cannot stand
by as workplace raids violate our dignity and that of our neighbors. We people
of faith—and especially those among us who have the privilege of American
citizenship—must speak out for everyone in our communities.
The ICE raids are the most glaring symptom of an immigration system that is
fundamentally broken. We must remember that this great nation was built by
immigrants, for immigrants.
But today, many newcomers following the American Dream and striving to give
their children a better life are forced to join a permanent underclass.
They labor tirelessly in American fields, kitchens, and factories, providing the
foundations for our economy, but immigrants without legal status are denied the
most basic rights.
The United States economy would collapse without the contributions of
undocumented workers, and yet we refuse to acknowledge our responsibilities
toward them. To people of conscience, this situation is intolerable.
My friends and neighbors, it is time to fix what is broken. It’s time
for real and just change. We must end the ICE raids now, and draft comprehensive
immigration reform. We Americans—whether we are citizens, residents with legal
rights, or undocumented workers—we all must demand change.
By calling for an immediate moratorium on ICE raids, we reject the injustice
and cruelty of our current laws and take a key step towards compassionate and
fair immigration reform.
Please sign the petition and circulate it in your churches and
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Friday, April 12, 2013.
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