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Faith Community Response to Executive Actions
The Faith Community has a long-standing history of positions in support of immigrants and refugees. So, it was no surprise that many have responded with statements or calls to action in response to President Trump’s Executive Actions this week. We will update this page as new statements are made. If you see one that we should add, email email@example.com
“Never before in our country’s history have we purposely - as a matter of policy - imposed a ban on immigrants or refugees on the basis of religion, or imposed a religious litmus test on those coming to this nation. Ideological and religious questioning imposed on our government agencies by Islamophobes – many of whom are now in policy-making positions - will not make us safer and will instead send a very negative message that Muslims are not welcome in America.” Nihad Awad, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad
Together, we must stand with cities that utilize community-policing efforts to create safer communities and provide our undocumented brothers and sisters the ability to live without fear of local law enforcement. Now is the time to come together to reject a border wall, policies that fail to protect vulnerable populations, and discrimination.
Lutherans stand firmly against any policies that result in scaling back the refugee resettlement program or discriminate on the basis of religion. Protection should not be denied to any refugee because of their faith, whether they be Muslim, Jewish or Christian. Of course we must offer safety to Christian refugees and other religious minorities persecuted for their faith – but we must also preserve our nation’s fundamental value and basic freedom of religion. We will be smaller as nation and less respected if we apply a religious litmus test to those who seek refuge in America.
“Refugee resettlement saves lives, encourages other countries to keep their doors open to people needing protection, and promotes regional stability and global security. We cannot turn our backs on the refugees we have pledged to welcome. Nor can we discriminate against individuals based on where they’re from or what religion they practice. Refugee resettlement must continue to be a cornerstone of U.S. Global leadership.”
"National Justice for Our Neighbors vehemently opposes President Trump’s two enforcement-focused Executive Orders announced on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. These announcements are grounded in fear, not in fact. They call for actions that are expensive, unnecessary, and antithetical to JFON’s values of compassion and dignity for all individuals. As people of faith, we are called upon to seek mercy, do justice, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Times change; governments change; yet these commands remain unchanged. JFON will continue to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters. We will fight for them, and alongside them."
“Our tradition instructs that “the stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself for you were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Lev. 19:33). This principle of welcoming the stranger is repeated 36 times in the Torah, more than any other commandment. Further, Judaism emphasizes the importance of redeeming the captive (piddyon shevuyim), loving kindness (chesed), and hospitality (hachnasat orchim).”
"As a religious leader, I am gravely concerned. I ask myself: when do we stop being America? I think it could begin the moment any refugee thinks of us as a land to fear; when the alien, stranger, immigrant, and refugee no longer know the air they breathe here is free; when the tired, poor, and tempest-tossed see the Statue of Liberty as a closed gate rather than the outstretched arm of hope and comfort. Vigilance is called for. We cannot sit by and let this happen." Rev. John C. Dorhauer, UCC General Minister and President
“As followers of Jesus, we reject in the strongest terms efforts to expand the U.S.-Mexico border wall, penalize communities providing sanctuary, halt refugee resettlement or impose a religious test for those facing forced migration.” Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society.
"United Methodist Women joins ecumenical and interfaith partners in affirming our support of refugee resettlement. We oppose any new U.S. policy that would cut the number of refugees we have agreed to welcome, and any policy that would prevent refugees from selected countries being resettled or exclude religious groups." Harriett J. Olson, United Methodist Women chief executive of the national office
“Now, more than ever, we need to organize and act. Not a few of us, but all of us. With our friends and allies, we are laying the foundation for a national effort to stand with those who are facing immediate deportation. These communities need our compassion, support, and protection, not harassment, incarceration, and deportation.” Tom Andrews, president and CEO of UUSC.
US Conference of Catholic Bishops:
"We recognize that Friday evening's Executive Order has generated fear and untold anxiety among refugees, immigrants, and others throughout the faith community in the United States. In response to the Order, we join with other faith leaders to stand in solidarity again with those affected by this order, especially our Muslim sisters and brothers. We also express our firm resolution that the Order's stated preference for "religious minorities" should be applied to protect not only Christians where they are a minority, but all religious minorities who suffer persecution, which includes Yazidis, Shia Muslims in majority Sunni areas, and vice versa. While we also recognize that the United States government has a duty to protect the security of its people, we must nevertheless employ means that respect both religious liberty for all, and the urgency of protecting the lives of those who desperately flee violence and persecution. It is our conviction as followers of the Lord Jesus that welcoming the stranger and protecting the vulnerable lie at the core of the Christian life. And so, to our Muslim brothers and sisters and all people of faith, we stand with you and welcome you." USCCB Join Statement (Refugee Executive Order)
“I share the concern that all of us feel when someone is victimized by crime, especially when the perpetrator of that crime is someone who is in the United States without authorization. I urge our local, state, and federal elected officials to work together in a bipartisan manner to ensure that all persons — U.S citizens and newcomers alike — are protected from individuals who pose a threat to national security or public safety. I am concerned, however, by the Executive Order issued by the President on January 25, 2017. This order would force all jurisdictions to accept a one-size-fits-all regime that might not be best for their particular jurisdictions.” Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Migration (Sanctuary City Executive Order)