Approved October 14, 2018
As Friends, we are moved to act to address the civil and human rights abuses we are witnessing in our nation’s inhumane immigration system.
We recognize that immigration policy is complex; however, we believe that a humane approach can be developed and implemented, and that is our objective. We call for reform that would lead to a timely, humane, and lawful treatment of the people seeking to enter this country to become citizens, and for those who have been living in this country without documents.
To that end we advocate the following:
- Urge congress to pass non-discriminatory standards for granting credible fear status andasylum that take into account all forms of violence, not just political and religious persecution.
- If asylum seekers are deported, they must not be returned to a town or country where their life is endangered.
- Abolish detention in all immigration cases. The Department of Justice already hasjurisdiction for the few who are determined by a judge under established law to be a threat to public safety or national security.
- Provide free legal counsel for all immigrants, in accordance with the 14th Amendmentwhich guarantees equal protection under law and due process for all persons in the US.
- Completely eliminate Immigrations and Customs Enforcement/ICE (as recommended byAmerican Friends Service Committee) and implement Congressional control of Border Patrol operations.
- Create a path to lawful citizenship that is reasonable and not excessively restrictive.
- Reinstate DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) through congressional legislationand pass DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents) legislation.
Until the above is accomplished, we call for:
- No detention of children (those younger than 18).
- Elimination of bail as a condition of release for ICE detainees.
- Ending construction of new and expansion of existing detention centers on private as well as on public land.
- Free or affordable legal representation for all immigrants and clear and easy access to these services.
- Government regulation of detention centers, all facilities where immigrants are detained, and ankle bracelet companies.
- Complete investigation of reports of sexual or physical abuse of persons who are detained and dismissal of staff involved in confirmed incidents.
These goals require spiritual commitment, political action, financial contributions and human support for those affected by immigration laws and policies. Any part of this work that can be taken on by individuals or groups is important.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BE SUPPORTIVE OF ASYLUM SEEKERS AND IMMIGRANTS:
Donna Smith, clerk PYM’s Latin American Concerns Committee, encouraged Friends to take the following actions:
- Visit detention centers.
- Be a witness in immigration hearings.
- Accompany an asylum seeker through the court process.
- Become a sanctuary or support sanctuaries in your area.
- Sponsor an immigrant or support sponsors in your area.
Our additional suggestions include:
- Become and stay informed regarding immigration issues on a city, state, and national level.
- Become a Pen Pal for an immigrant in detention.
- Help staff the Hot Line for Freedom for Immigrants
- Help raise bail funds.
- Assist immigrants released from detention with transportation and relocation.
- Offer financial or volunteer support to organizations involved in immigrant advocacy or support work.
- Advocate for immigration reform in person or through correspondence with elected representatives.
- Publicize human civil rights violations on your blog, in letters to editors, on social media and any venue that you have access to.
- Participate in demonstrations responding to human rights violations.
- Become a BIA Certified Representative and assist immigrants with their legal cases.
For further information on how to make a difference please contact the clerk of our Peace and Social Concerns Committee (email firstname.lastname@example.org and request that it be forwarded to the P&SC clerk) or UU/Quaker Social Change Ministry. at email@example.com.