RELIEF, REFORM, RESPECT:
Civic Leaders Stand for Immigrant Families
We the undersigned, representing elected officials, educators, entrepreneurs, community leaders, police officers and religious leaders, urge our federal lawmakers to recognize the contributions of all members of our communities and promote the fundamental American values of family, opportunity and unity.
Immigrants are valued members of our communities and a part of the fabric of our local economies. But the current policies of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are tearing apart families, and leading to horrific human suffering and financial ruin for far too many in our communities. Last year, DHS deported a record number of immigrants, averaging nearly 1,100 deportations each day; and according to recent news reports, the Administration aims to match or beat that record this year. This policy of escalated deportations and detentions is tearing parents away from their children, creating a climate of fear and terror that is ultimately corrosive to our sense of community, and is nothing short of a moral and humanitarian crisis.
This crisis we see in our communities is compounded by political gridlock in Washington, DC. The divisive politicization of the national dialogue about immigrants and immigration reform has led to a political climate that is hostile to the common-sense, rational solutions that enjoy majority support from the American public. A handful of states around the country are resorting to misguided laws that sanction racial profiling, breed mistrust and fear, and make the jobs of police officers even more difficult. Meanwhile, political agitators cynically propose repealing the 14th Amendment; knowing that changing the Constitution to restrict freedom would be both an unprecedented reversal of tradition, and nearly impossible to pass and ratify. In the midst of this political crisis, more families are torn apart and the dreams of young people remain deferred.
As leaders in our communities, we see the toll that both the moral and political crises are having on our neighbors, students, parishioners, customers and constituents; and it is abundantly clear that other leaders around the nation must assert leadership and courage on the issue of immigration. We insist that the Administration immediately provide relief from the inhumane deportations that are tearing apart families and causing pain in our communities. We urge our nation’s legislators to advance common-sense and humane reforms to the immigration system this year. We look to leaders in the media to restore civility and rationality to the dialogue around immigration reform. We call on our fellow Americans to live out our core American values by showing respect for all members of our national community without regard to national origin, color or religion and demand the same from our leaders in Washington, DC.
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