ICE

Jessica Cobian 10-04-2017

Pastor Noe Carias Mayorga, Victoria Carias, and family. Image via the family. 

They handcuffed me and searched me, and another officer said that they were taking me to the detention center in Adelanto. I had heard a lot about that detention center, but I never imagined how terrible that place actually is. I had a very bad experience there. I had a cold during the first few days of being there and I was not receiving any kind of medical attention.

Alexia Salvatierra 9-28-2017

Pastor Noe and Vicky Carias with their children after he was released. Photo courtesy Matthew 25 SoCal.

Pastor Carias and his family had done everything right. We in his network of supporters had done everything that normally should have resulted in a just outcome. We had to face that these were not normal times; we had to examine our methods.

Immigrant Rosa Sabido, 53, cries as she sits on her bed in the United Methodist Church in which she lives while facing deportation in Mancos, Colorado, U.S., July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Pastor Craig Paschal says the decision to turn his church into a sanctuary, and a focal point in the nationwide immigration debate, was not easy but he considered it a Christian duty.

President Donald Trump gestures as he addresses the graduating class of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy during commencement ceremonies in New London, Conn., U.S. May 17. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. arrests of suspected undocumented immigrants rose by nearly 40 percent in the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, following executive orders that broadened the scope of who could be targeted for immigration violations, according to government data released on Wednesday. The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan said that arrests by his agency jumped to 41,318 between January 22 of this year and the end of April, up from 30,028 arrests in roughly the same period last year. 

Image via David Beltran/Sojourners

"People have asked, 'Why do you stand with these people?' Because black bodies have been assaulted since we first came to this state. And they are continuously assaulted. What we know is, if we are silent when brown bodies are assualted, when gay bodies are assaulted, when trans bodies are assualted, when female bodies are assualted, then all of us remain in prison and in bondage."

Image via RNS/Rev. Justo Gonzalez II

The Trump administration’s hard-line stance on undocumented immigrants is polarizing: People have responded with either “throw the bums out” or “have a heart.” But the question of whether faith communities can legally offer the undocumented physical sanctuary — sheltering them in churches, synagogues, and mosques to keep them from immigration authorities — is not so cut and dry. 

Dhanya Addanki 3-02-2017

Image via Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock

No one has yet been willing to provide information about what Rising Hope Mission Church pastor Keary Kincannon calls a "confusing ordeal."

"We have no idea where they are, and we’re hearing reports that guards won’t even give detainees their one call," Kincannon said.

Jim Wallis 3-02-2017

The growing momentum behind the Matthew 25 Pledge has reminded me of my old friend and mentor, Mary Glover, who helped me understand the deepest meaning of that Gospel text. She was not a theologian or formal biblical commentator, but she showed and taught me the meaning of this Scripture more than four decades ago. Matthew 25 brought me to Christ out of the student movements of my time and led me to help begin Sojourners. We moved into one of the poorest parts of Washington, D.C., in the neighborhood where Mrs. Glover lived.

Jim Wallis 2-22-2017

People of faith join the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21. Photo by JP Keenan / Sojourners

Many people in our nation, and indeed around the world, are scared by the things happening in Washington. Those most affected by the actions of this administration are especially afraid. But today, we announce a plan of action in response.

 

the Web Editors 2-21-2017

New policies also allow for easier immediate deportation by expanding the expedited removal process. This specific part of the policy allows U.S Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport people at a faster rate from anywhere in the country. DHS has also ordered 10,000 new immigration and customs agents, plus the revival of a program that qualifies local police officers to assist in deportation. 

Alexia Salvatierra 2-20-2017

Photo by Dhanya Addanki / Sojourners

An immigration judge once told me the story about an Albanian family: On their way to their final asylum hearing, they were broadsided by a drunk driver and ended up in the hospital. Because they missed their court date, they automatically received a deportation order. “Almost 10 years and almost a million dollars to remove the order,” said the judge. “It’s like pulling a wisdom tooth continuously for years."

Dhanya Addanki 2-17-2017

Photo by Dhanya Addanki/Sojourners

“The practices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement right now are not in line with who we say we are as a government and a country,” Kumpf said. “What they did was legally on the line of violating the Sensitive Locations Memo. That’s extraordinarily morally reprehensible.”

Drafted in 2011, the Sensitive Locations Memo places restrictions on ICE enforcement in sensitive locations such as schools, places of worship, and hospitals. Many at the gathering felt that the sensitive lines of sanctuary were crossed on the morning of the Feb 8.

the Web Editors 2-10-2017

For those worried about a possible immigration raid, or those with friends and family who may be at risk, El Centro de la Raza created a simple "know your rights" graphic in Spanish and English. 

the Web Editors 2-10-2017

Image via Fibonacci Blue/flickr.com

In recent days more than 100 undocumented immigrants have reportedly been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents. Texas Observer reports that as many as five immigrants were detained on Feb. 9. According to the Los Angeles Times, immigration activists claim that about 100 people have been taken into custody by ICE this week, resulting in a protest in downtown Los Angeles. And news of the arrest and deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos — a mother who was previously convicted for using false papers to gain employment and afterward obeyed an order to report to ICE every six months — have circulated through social media and news outlets.

Sandi Villarreal 12-09-2016

Released families flood local church. Image courtesy RAICES.

In early December, Immigration and Customs Enforcement released nearly 500 women and children from Texas family detention centers, flooding San Antonio emergency shelters — and revealing the generosity of a city.

“After this weekend’s events San Antonio may not be a sanctuary city on paper, but it’s a sanctuary city just by the actions of the community,” said Amy Fischer, policy director for the RAICES in San Antonio.

sakhorn / shutterstock

sakhorn / shutterstock

BETWEEN 1980 and 2013, the federal prison population increased by 800 percent, according to the Department of Justice, at a far-faster rate than the Bureau of Prisons could handle. By 2013, approximately 15 percent of BOP’s prisoners were housed in for-profit prisons.

In August, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will no longer contract with private prisons for housing federal prisoners. “[Private prisons] simply do not provide the same level of correctional service, programs, and resources,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. “They do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.”

Within weeks, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson responded to DOJ by directing his teams “to evaluate whether the immigration detention operations conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] should move in the same direction”—to evaluate whether ICE should eliminate contracts with for-profit immigration detention companies. There is no need for a review. Multiple reports, from human rights organizations and the Department of Justice itself, give damning evidence against the inhumane practices of for-profit prisons and detention centers.

As the leader of a Christian denomination, I feel a deep obligation to pay attention to foundational passages from our sacred texts in the midst of the current challenges we face as a country. When it comes to prisoners and immigrants, two passages are bedrock for me. Leviticus 19:34 reminds us to love foreigners as we love ourselves. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus prioritizes the vulnerable. He issues a clear call for those who follow him to care for the stranger, the prisoner, the naked, the hungry, and the thirsty.

Ervin Stutzman 3-22-2016

Pastor Max Villatoro's children visited him in Honduras in August 2015. Photo by Tim Detweiler.

 

The highest calling of our civil government is to enable people to flourish, secure in communities with liberty and justice for all. In pursuit of that goal, they must at times take appropriate action in pursuit of public safety. However, as the recent police shootings in Chicago and elsewhere have shown, civil servants can commit injustices in the pursuit of their goals. I fear that this happened last March when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested more than 2,000 “criminal aliens” in a sweep it called Operation Cross Check. I fear it is happening again in recent raids to deport Central American women and children seeking asylum and safety from violence.

the Web Editors 3-21-2016

Jacinta Gonzalez. Image via Puente Arizona / Youtube

Three protestors — two white, one Latina — were arrested March 19 for chaining themselves to cars and blocking traffic headed to a Donald Trump rally, reports .Mic.

Of the three, only one was transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to investigate her legal status. And guess which one it was.

Rick Herron 2-03-2016

Image via Megan Cagle/Church World Service

With chants of “Hey, Obama, don’t deport my mama!” and "Que queremos? Justicia! Cuando? Ahora!" a diverse group of immigration activists and leaders made their way from St. John’s Episcopal Church at Lafayette Square to rally at the White House on Tuesday. They were there to demand that the Obama administration stop deporting Central American asylum seekers and instead grant them Temporary Protected Status. With them they carried boxes full of more than 136,000 petition signatures calling for the same.

the Web Editors 1-13-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Due to a sudden wave of ICE raids and deportations of asylum seekers fleeing violence in Central America, the White House has faced anger from numerous Democrats in Congress, who drafted a letter denouncing the raids. This new refugee plan, which sets up screening facilities in Central America, aims to reduce human smuggling as well to slow the flow of undocumented immigration.

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