FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jennifer Farmer, 202.306.0136
January 25, 2017 Email:
Faith Leaders to President Trump: Retaliating Against Cities that Offer Safe Havens for Undocumented Immigrants is Immoral
WASHINGTON—PICO National Network, the largest network of congregations and faith-based groups in the country, challenged as immoral President Trump’s executive order targeting cities that offer safe havens for undocumented immigrants. The multi-faith, multiracial network vowed to stand in solidarity with all persons impacted by the administration’s discriminatory orders.
“Our faith teaches us that all people are worthy of humanity, regardless of documentation,” said
Imam Omar Suleiman,
president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and a professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas
“Retaliating against local communities because they refuse to follow immoral policies is part of an emerging pattern of President Trump not only bullying people who dare to disagree with him, but isolating and further marginalizing people who are different than him,”
said Eddie Carmona, campaign director for PICO National Network’s LA RED campaign
. “Such behavior is inconsistent with the long-held notion that America is a place of opportunity for all.”
The move to retaliate against cities that offer safe havens for undocumented communities is part of a broader trend that sees communities of color disproportionately targeted by law enforcement and funneled into a deportation system that lacks basic due process protections. Immigrant communities of color face a double whammy of being targeted based on race and immigration status.
“In response to the many communities that may be targeted by the incoming administration, local communities should expand the definition of sanctuary to provide safe havens not only for undocumented immigrants, but for religious minorities and communities of color broadly,” said
Bishop Dwayne Royster, political director for PICO National Network
. “Rather than backing down in this moment, we hope cities will stand up for what is right.”
Today's executive order is the first step in an amplified attack on immigrants. Rather than funding enforcement and focusing on tracking, detaining and deporting vulnerable communities, the administration should invest in policies that uphold our values and provide true security for local communities.
“As a faith organization, our clergy and leaders are compelled to oppose unjust, misogynistic and racist policies that are designed to separate families,” Carmona said. “We will challenge, at every turn, any policy by the Trump administration that is contrary to our faith and values. We will create hundreds of rapid response teams, train our members on their constitutional rights on bystander intervention and generally be a public witness for justice.”