This Tuesday, October 20, the Senate will take up an anti-immigrant bill called the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act that would withhold federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities,” where local law enforcement exercise discretion when inquiring about a person’s immigration status. The bill would also introduce up to ten year mandatory minimum sentences for certain undocumented immigrants. The bill is opposed by the faith community because it would harm communities by creating a fearful relationship between immigrants and local police. It would also force local law enforcement to spend valuable resources targeting law-abiding members of their communities instead of protecting citizens from harm. Finally, the faith community opposes mandatory minimum sentencing requirements because they are unjust.
Please write to your Senators in advance of this potentially dangerous hearing to ask them to oppose S. 2146, the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act introduced by Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). We must stand in solidarity with our immigrant sisters and brothers seeking a better life for themselves and their families.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has affirmed its support for immigrants many times. The 221st General Assembly (2014) affirmed the formation of the Presbyterian Immigrant Defense Initiative, a campaign to “empower Presbyterians to work to change policies and practices that infringe on the human and civil rights of immigrants in our communities including immigrant detention, streamlined deportation, and the executing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by local law enforcement.”
In the book of Matthew, Jesus is asked what is the greatest commandment of all. He answers, “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Join us in loving and protecting our neighbors and raise your voice against anti-immigrant policies.