All Families Belong Together

All Families Belong Together March 6, 2019

Today I went to a hearing held by the House Homeland Security Committee where Secretary Kristjen Nielsen was speaking. After the hearing, I went outside with a coalition of groups to call her – and our whole nation – to repentance for how we have treated immigrants. Below is an edited version of my remarks.

My God teaches that love casts out all fear. My God has created all people and all families in the divine image. I believe that God stands with the mother crossing the desert with her baby. That mother and her child seeking safe harbor are precious to me because they are precious to God. And they should be precious and dignified in the eyes of our government.

7-year-old Jakelin Caal and 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo were precious to God, but we let them die in custody of US Customs and Border patrol this past December. And God will judge our nation if we do not repent of the Trump administration’s cruel child separation policy and repent of the unnecessary trauma and pain caused by the termination DACA and Temporary Protected Status for millions of immigrants. We are talking about families, people with dreams and dignity, people who give our communities life and give our nation promise.

Last summer, I travelled with a delegation of women of faith down to the U.S.-Mexico border. As we visited a respite center, run by Catholic sisters, I met a nine-year-old boy. He told me he had fled Honduras because his father had been murdered. When I asked what he hoped for, he said simply “I wish that we were welcome here.”

I wish we were welcome here. What a simple thing. I wish our government, from President Trump to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to ICE Agents welcomed these children and their parents with the dignity befitting children of God.

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