April 29, 2010 5:58 p.m. EST
Topics: politics, migration, values, ethics, minority group, national or ethnic minority, social issue, religion and belief, United States
Tejinder Singh – AHN News Correspondent
Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – People of various faith voiced their support for immigration reforms on Thursday in a tele-conference call with journalists, kick-starting a weekend of action in communities from coast to coast, calling for comprehensive reform, according to Kristin Williams representing Faith in Public Life.
FPL, a strategy center for the faith community, working on issues of justice, compassion and the common good, said in a statement, after organizing the call with journalists, “the Arizona law demonstrates the immediate and severe consequences of failing to fix our broken immigration system.”
“The Arizona law and the outpouring of condemnation from the faith community underscores the urgency of enacting humane, comprehensive immigration reform,” said Jen Smyers, Associate for Immigration and Refugee Policy at Church World Service, adding during the call, “We are praying, protesting, and standing in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters to push Congress to enact humane immigration reform before August recess.”
Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church aptly put the sentiments of immigrants in perspective saying, “They fear that they will be stopped for being brown, that their immigrant parents will be deported, that their families will be separated and trampled by a rampant hatred that is out of control in Arizona.”
The faith community’s support for Arizona’s immigrant community and comprehensive immigration reform united people of faith from across the religious and ideological spectrum in a historic call for justice.
“As evangelical Christians, we like to believe we would have stood against slavery, we would have advocated for women’s suffrage, and we would have marched in Selma with Dr. King,” said Rev. Troy Jackson of University Christian Church in Cincinnati, OH.
“The law passed in Arizona tramples on the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This law only serves to highlight the sore need for fair and just immigration reform at the federal level,” said Jaspreet Singh, Staff Attorney United Sikhs, in New York.
United Sikhs urged “all people and faith communities,” to fight against “any policy that relies on profiling or arbitrary means to override basic and fundamental constitutional freedoms.”
The church attendance would also largely get affected as Yvonne Diaz, of Iglesia Menonita Hispana said in a statement, “On Sunday my church will hold a vigil in support of immigration reform, but fear of racial profiling and harassment will prevent many in the Latino community from attending.”
Different community leaders in one voice reiterated that reform will not only keep families together and protect “both our values and interests as a nation, “but will also preclude the possibility of more states passing discriminatory immigration laws that create climates of suspicion and fear and do little to fix the “underlying problems with our broken system.”