End Family Separation and Detention of Asylum Seekers and Abolish ICE 2018 Action of Immediate Witness

BECAUSE of UU Principles 1, 2, 6, and 7 and the 2013 Statement of Conscience entitled Immigration as a Moral Issue; and

WHEREAS, white supremacy and colonization permeate societal systems;

WHEREAS, zero-tolerance policy forces family separation;

WHEREAS, asylum seekers are detained, criminalized, and dehumanized;

WHEREAS, established asylum protections have been dismantled;

WHEREAS, current immigration policy fails to honor our treaties/conventions/protocols, and established immigration law;

WHEREAS, the U.S. has withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council;

WHEREAS, white supremacy criminalizes black and brown bodies and the exercise of their rights;

WHEREAS, children are torn from their families at borders, conflict zones, and occupied territories around the globe;

WHEREAS, children are abused and drugged in detention and shelters;

WHEREAS, incarceration and separation causes trauma; and

WHEREAS, this is an urgent and emerging crisis that calls UUs to act now. The Trump Administration has instituted a zero-tolerance practice of unilaterally detaining and separating family members of asylum seekers and other immigrants. They subsequently issued an Executive Order (EO) that purportedly ends the practice while denying responsibility for creating the crisis in the first place. The EO does not address or require the reunification of children already separated from their families. Additionally, there is no guarantee of the immediate or future safety and appropriate treatment of asylum seekers. The administration has requested that the court revise the 1997 ruling that prevents detaining children for more than 20 days. They are expressly asking to detain children with their families for the duration of their legal proceedings. ICE has a history of terrorizing and abusing immigrants and operating outside the law. As the agency carrying out the administration’s barbaric policies, it must be dismantled so humane and appropriate processes and agencies can be created.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE UUA and member congregations should use their moral authority to demand the immediate:

  • Reunification of children taken from their families seeking asylum in the US;
  • End of the policy of incarcerating asylum seekers, including those in family detention;
  • Investigation and cessation of the inappropriate administration of psychiatric drugs to children in detention and shelters;
  • Investigation and prosecution of claims that children in detention and shelters are being sexually and physically abused;
  • Abolition of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and implementation of a system that understands the causes for migration, provides a non-carceral solution while asylum seekers await a decision on their case, and has a fundamental commitment to keeping families together; and
  • Removal of immigration oversight from the Department of Homeland Security.


  • Participate in the June 30th nationwide Mass Mobilization;
  • Participate in the July 2nd events at border areas;
  • Host interfaith vigils to lift our prophetic voices;
  • Carry out strategic direct action in collaboration with, and/or at the direction of, immigrant-led groups;
  • Advocate for comprehensive, humane immigration reform;
  • Advocate for the US to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • Boycott and divest from corporations that provide services and products to global agencies involved in family separation and detention;
  • Support UU and partner organizations and the immigrant coalition groups to whom they are accountable with donations and volunteering including: UU Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education (UURISE), Mijente, Freedom for Immigrants, Mano Amiga San Marcos, ACLU, Association of Immigration Lawyers, UU State Action Networks, congregations working for immigration justice; and
  • Build accountable relationships with immigrant-led groups, supporting what they request, without usurping leadership.