IMMIGRATION AGENTS IN OUR JAILS MAKE NEW YORK COMMUNITIES LESS SAFE
STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO MAYOR’S POSITION ON IMMIGRANTS AT RIKERS ISLAND
April 15, 2011
New York – As faith leaders who have served immigrant communities for years, we understand the effect the city’s policy has on the community. Mr. Feinblatt unfortunately misunderstands that New York’s collaboration with ICE pushes people away from the police and violates the spirit of the Executive Order he touts so highly. The resulting deportations are a moral outrage, and we cannot stand idly by while the city participates in an unjust system at the taxpayers’ expense.
When we speak with our congregants they make no distinction between the NYPD and ICE. And why should they? So many the police take away end up deported. Children who lose fathers and parents who lose children are highly unlikely to be cooperative or to trust the police should they be the victims of or witnesses to a crime. How can it be a good idea for public safety to drive entire communities of people away from those we want them to trust the most?
The fact is that the city helps deport anyone ICE wants, regardless of whether they’ve had their day in court or not. They help ICE tear families apart, the vast majority of whom should never have been put in the situation in the first place. We cannot stand by while this policy continues to violate our fundamental values of hospitality, of welcoming the stranger in our midst.
Rev. Fabian Arias, co-chair of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC
Rev. Susan Switzer, co-chair of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC
Jean Montrevil, co-chair of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC
Rev. Bob Coleman, The Riverside Church
Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, Judson Memorial Church
Rev. Michael Ellick, Judson Memorial Church
Rev. Giovanny Sanchez, Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Brooklyn.
Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
Shaykh TA Bashir, House of Peace
Rev. David Rommereim, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Brooklyn
Rev. Mark Marsh, Victoria Congregational Church, Queens
Sr. Katherine Hamm, Sisters of Charity
Sr. Lily Butler, Sisters of Charity
Rev. Cheri Kroon, Flatbush Reformed Church, Brooklyn
Rev. Tom Martinez, All Souls Bethlehem Church, Brooklyn
Rev. Elice Higginbotham, Metropolitan Association, NY Conference, UCC
Monsignor James Kelly, St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church, Brooklyn
Rev. Omar Almonte, Central Baptist Church, Brooklyn
Bishop Michael J. Champion, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
Rev. Bruce Southworth, The Community Church of New York, Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Anthony P. Johnson, The Community Church of New York, Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Kaji Rosa Spellman, Saint Peter’s Church