Faith Groups call on President to address rights violations of current immigration system

President Barack Obama

BY ISN STAFFOctober 1, 2014

WASHINGTON D.C. — Earlier this week twenty-four national faith-based organizations, including the Ignatian Solidarity Network sent a letter to President Barack Obama, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, and Attorney General Eric Holder urging them to address human and civil rights violations, lack of transparency, and governance issues that continue within the U.S. government’s immigration enforcement practices. The organizations expressed disappointment at the decision to delay relief to millions of immigrants and called for immediate action be taken to reform a number of deportation and detention practices.

The letter states:

“The political calculus that led to the decision to delay broad-based immigration relief has little relevance in terms of efforts by the Administration to address these persistent shortfalls in upholding our country’s commitment to human rights, accountability, due process, and transparency.”

Clear policy recommendations are outlined and the organizations call for the President, DHS Secretary, and Attorney General to:

  • End dangerous deportation practices that exacerbate the vulnerability of deported migrants to trafficking, exploitation, or violence.
  • Change current Customs and Border Protection (CBP) lethal use of force policies.
  • Address the continued lack of accountability and lack of responsiveness to complaints at CBP, which have left communities feeling militarized, alienated, unsafe, criminalized and racially profiled.
  • Establish more robust administrative standards and a system to ensure compliance and oversight to regulate conditions at CBP detention facilities, which currently fail to live up to the most basic standards of health, sanitation and dignity.
  • End family detention, a failed and inhumane model of warehousing vulnerable families.

Organizations who signed the letter: African American Ministers in Action, American Baptist Churches, USA, American Baptist Home Mission Societies, American Jewish Committee, Church of the Brethren, Office of Public Witness, Church World Service, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Disciples Home Missions, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), The Episcopal Church, Faith in Public Life, Franciscan Action Network, Friends Committee on National Legislation, HIAS, Ignatian Solidarity Network, Jesuit Conference of the United States, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, National Council of Jewish Women, Pax Christi USA, Refugee and Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Read the full letter at: http://bit.ly/1qWbMVN


The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) is a national social justice network inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. ISN was founded in 2004 and is a lay-led 501(c)(3) organization working in partnership with universities, high schools, and parishes sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) along with many other Catholic institutions and social justice partners. More information can be found at: www.www.ignatiansolidarity.net

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