This weekend we once again experienced the familiar and jarring pattern of the president creating chaos. With announcements of widespread immigration raids, the Trump administration sowed fear and panic into our communities and created chaos, only to apparently postpone the raids at the last minute and use the threat of them to push Democrats to compromise on asylum and the border.
But we also know that ICE is going after immigrant families in our communities every day, quiet and devastating. While we must be careful to not be pulled into the panic which is intentionally created, we must also be careful not to be lulled into complacency by believing that the threat is gone for now.
This is an important moment both to strengthen our relationships with immigrant organizations in our communities, knowing that we will all be needed - and to turn to our spiritual practices and community to maintain thoughtful judgment and not seed fear.
Safe spaces for those under threat
Many congregations and religious communities have offered their physical space as "sanctuary" to people at risk of immediate deportation. However, the need for safety goes beyond deportation, beyond citizenship status, and beyond a congregation's four walls. It is needed on the streets and in neighborhoods, in schools, campuses, city halls and state houses. Today, Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith and conscience are expanding what it means to offer "sanctuary" to include not only physical sanctuary, but also sanctuary policies, sanctuary campuses, and sanctuary community support networks.
6 Ways to Be Pro-Active About Immigration Raids in Your Community
Check in with an Immigrant Rights Organization in your community and ask how your congregation can support. Every place has different needs. When you reach out, be prepared to really show up in the ways you are asked!
Donate and raise money for a local or national immigration bond fund - see the list here.
From our partners at RAICES: Email your Representatives - Defund ICE and Stop Immigration Raids
Check out these important resources and share widely:
- Call on your local officials (Mayor, City Council, and Police Chief) to refuse any cooperation with ICE raids and make a public statement - there are some great examples in this article.
- ICE is planning to rent entire hotels to use as immigrant detention centers for these raids, because their detention centers are already full. Please support this action from DMV Sanctuary Coalition and tell major hotel chains: NO collaboration with ICE!
The following locations were identified as targets of ICE immigration raids for 6/23/19. Even though Trump has delayed these raids, if you live in or near one of these locations, we need your vigilance and participation in the resistance:
- Atlanta, GA
- Baltimore, MD
- Chicago, IL
- Denver, CO
- Houston, TX
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FL
- New Orleans, LA
- New York City, NY
- San Francisco, CA