Support Immigrant Families—Stop the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Raids 2007 Action of Immediate Witness

WHEREAS a community of faith, we uphold the inherent worth, rights and dignity of all people;

WHEREAS we covenant as Unitarian Universalists to promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;

WHEREAS our Unitarian Universalist faith ca11s us to recognize that no one is "the stranger;"

WHEREAS beginning with our first General Assembly in 1961 with a resolution on the rights of migrant workers, a 1963 resolution for immigration reform, three General Assemblies endorsing sanctuary for refugees (1980, 1984, and 1985), and Resolutions of Immediate Witness passed in 1985 for humane treatment of immigrants and in 2006 the General Assembly voted for an Action of Immediate Witness to support immigrant justice, we have demonstrated a commitment to support immigrant families;

WHEREAS since December 2006 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has intensified its raids on immigrants beginning on December 12th, 2006 (on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. a day of enormous religious significance for Mexican families) when ICE agents simultaneously raided six Swift & Company meat packing plants in five states, when approximately 1,000 ICE agents, some in riot gear, detained 1,282 workers at gunpoint, many shackled with chains between their legs;

WHEREAS raids have continued across the country in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Danbury and New Haven, Connecticut, Chicago, Illinois, and most recently on June 12th, 2007, in Portland, Oregon;

WHEREAS many of us attending General Assembly have encountered someone who is impacted by the raid in Portland last week;

WHEREAS federal raids are breaking up families, many of them parents with children, causing pain and suffering, and creating a climate of fear and repression among immigrant communities;

WHEREAS the interplay between our laws, foreign policy and economy over many decades has trapped many immigrants, while our lawmakers in Congress are unable to reach agreement:

WHEREAS undocumented immigration is on the rise, and immigrants are driven from their homes as refugees of "free trade" policies and by U.S. businesses' voracious appetite for cheap labor;

WHEREAS we must acknowledge that many of us have lives of privilege supported in thousands of ways by people whose labor is invisible and whose suffering is hidden and who are criminalized for simply working to provide for their families;

WHEREAS now more than ever the voice of the religious community needs to be heard calling for the passing of just comprehensive immigration reform, for an immediate stop to the ICE raids and offering hospitality to and solidarity with the millions living in fear.

THEREFORE be it resolved that the 2007 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association: Calls for an immediate moratorium of all inhumane raids and resulting deportations;

  • Urges all Unitarian Universalists congregations and their members to create a dialogue with the local business community, politicians, and if possible minority coalitions to create alternative actions for fair and legal deportations: and
  • Urges all Unitarian Universalist congregations and their members to offer support and solidarity with the millions of immigrants seeking recognition and dignity in United States.