Even while the federal government is shut down, one government activity continues with full force: more than 1,100 of our immigrant brothers and sisters are being deported every day, including today. We faith leaders will continue to work every single day until not one more family is separated, not one more mother or father is taken from their children, not one more son or daughter is taken from their parents, not one more husband or wife is separated from their spouse – not one more family is separated and devastated by the broken immigration policies of this country.
On this day we faith leaders hold our Congress and President accountable for the injustice of our immigration policies that destroy family unity. Children live in constant fear that at the end of the school day they will find themselves abandoned because their parents have been deported. Parents never know if their young adult children will be coming home. Young people are losing hope that they will ever have a future because of the injustice of our broken immigration laws.
Immigrant families are this day sustaining this country. The government may be shut down but immigrant men and women keep on working for the benefit of all of us. It has been said before but it merits being said again. Our immigrant brothers and sisters keep working; picking our crops, putting food on our tables, building our roads and homes, beautifying our communities, taking care of our children and our elderly parents, inspiring our congregations. Yet rather than being treated justly they are being held hostage by broken laws, detained arbitrarily in for-profit prisons, processed through the most illegal of ways, and then spit out on the other side of our southern border like trash. No more! It is time for comprehensive immigration reform!
On this day we declare once again that we will stand faithfully with our immigrant families until they receive justice. We will continue to raise our voices for justice for immigrant families in our towns, our cities, our states, and here on Capitol Hill. We will not cease to demand this justice until we are heard. And, we will not cease to raise our voices to God who loves the immigrant among us and whose justice will prevail.
[This statement was delivered on October 8, 2013 at the Church World Service Global Immigration Summit Press Conference in Washington D.C.]