Immigrant Justice and Sanctuary
Dear Shir Tikvah:
of you have reached out to us over the past week asking how to respond
to the appalling policy of the US Border patrol separating
asylum-seeking parents at our southern border. The images of children
kept in cages is horrifying! Good people of faith may disagree about
immigration policy; but I pray we all agree that separating parents from
children is unconscionable.
Jews, the central mitzvah of Torah, the one commanded 36 times-more
than any other-is to welcome the immigrant. Why? Because, as we read in
Exodus, we know the heart of the stranger, the immigrant, for we were
strangers in the land of Egypt.
Jews know all-too-well the reality of fleeing our homes because of
religious violence; having our families torn apart by governmental
decree. For Jews, this is personal.
What can we do? As a spiritual leader active in many justice issues, I recommend the following with a full heart:
- Shir Tikvah is a Sanctuary Congregation. Please support our Sanctuary/Immigrant Justice work with a financial contribution.
- El Colegio School is our partner in this holy work. Please support them as they work for immigrant justice.
- Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
(full disclosure: I am Co-Chair of the Board) is mobilizing rabbis and
Jewish leaders to call upon the President and congress to end this
policy of separation and to bring delegations to the border. Please
support their work.
- Jewish Community Action continues to work on immigration reform. Please support their visionary and vital work.
- Bend-the-Arc Jewish Action is asking for Jews to sign this petition to end this policy of family separation:
- The Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project is working to keep families together. Support their work.
- If you live in Minnesota Congressional District Two or Three, please contact your representatives-Rep. Jason Lewis (202) 225-2271 or Rep. Erik Paulsen (952) 405-8510
and tell them that these children and parents need more than teary
statements on Father's Day; as members of the Jewish community, we call
upon these elected officials to support legislation to stop family
- Call Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Neilsen and tell her to end this separation policy (which she refers to as "deterrence). (202) 772-5073
- Call the White House and register your opposition and encourage them to support refugees and asylum seekers. (202) 252-5234
- Many of us have immigration stories, our own or our family's. Please, share them on social media using the hashtag: #FamiliesBelongTogether.
we learn more, we'll share information with you about how to raise our
moral voices to challenge and end this monstrous policy and reunite
parents with their children.
In love and justice,
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz