“Immigration Raids: The Biggest Domestic Humanitarian Disaster since Katrina”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protection officers
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protection officers

Gabe Schlabach writes in the latest issue of the PeaceSigns E-Zine about the wave of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids occurring around the country following the collapse of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) legislation:

Many immigrants live in constant fear of detention, deportation and separation from their loved ones. Churches and communities are struggling to respond to the destructive effects of immigration raids across the country. But unlike the recent spate of hurricanes that has taken lives, destroyed property, and displaced thousands, this humanitarian disaster is not only exacerbated but caused by failed public policy.

In the wake of these raids, local churches and religious organizations often act as the first responders to the humanitarian crises that follow. For instance, MCC Central States contributed money to help cover housing and food costs for families affected by the Postville raid.

It is good that churches are responding, especially in light of Biblical calls to love, clothe, and show hospitality to the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19, Matthew 25:38, Hebrews 13:2). But it is a tragic failure of proper governance in Washington that makes this response necessary.

Both presidential candidates, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, supported CIR (though John McCain has since backed away from that support, despite being an original sponsor of the legislation). When either candidate becomes president in January, it will be important for people of faith to urge him to push Congress for CIR.

In the meantime, the current administration is continuing to ramp up its policy of harsh, large-scale immigration raids. The president has the authority to suspend these destructive raids immediately. Please call (202-456-1111) or email the White House and ask President Bush to put a moratorium on immigration raids for the rest of his term.

Read the full article.

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