FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 5, 2018
Contact: Jennifer Amuzie – Interfaith Immigration Coalition | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202-867-4567
715 FAITH LEADERS AND GROUPS DEFEND THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM, DENOUNCE INCARCERATION OF IMMIGRANT FAMILIES
Washington, D.C.— In response to President Trump’s announcement that he intends to block access to asylum for all vulnerable families who cross between ports of entry and indefinitely detain migrant families, 570 faith leaders and 145 faith-based organizations across traditions today delivered a letter to all members of Congress denouncing these proposed illegal policies and expressing unequivocal support for the caravan of people seeking protection from violence in Central America. In the face of the humanitarian challenges expected on the border as a caravan of vulnerable women, children and men flee danger in Honduras, the Trump administration has insisted upon responding with militarism, and irresponsible and dehumanizing lies.
“As the caravan of people seeking protection continues on their long journey to the United States, the administration is responding to a humanitarian crisis by separating and incarcerating families, detaining and prosecuting parents, turning away asylum seekers, and deploying the military in border communities. We call on Congress to reverse course and see that the U.S. complies with its own laws and international obligations to welcome those seeking protection,” wrote the group.
Faith leaders have pledged to speak truth in support of migrants and immigrant communities in the United States. In the letter signed by four Bishops from the United Methodist Church–Bishop Minerva Carcaño, Bishop Sally Dyck, Bishop S. Clifton Ives and Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, the faith leaders and organizations explained that migration levels are at historic lows and discussed the root causes of the caravan which include the ending of the Central American Minors (CAM) program.
“It is a human right to seek asylum. As people of faith we affirm this right, and urge the administration and all members of Congress to do the same… We oppose using the plight of migrants, children, and families as leverage to enact dangerous policies. We call on Congress not exploit a humanitarian crisis to end child welfare protections or expand immigrant detention,” they added.
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is made up of 52 national, faith-based organizations brought together across many theological traditions with a common call to seek just policies that lift up the God-given dignity of every individual. In partnership, we work to protect the rights, dignity, and safety of all refugees and migrants.