As people of faith, we believe first and foremost that immigrants have inherent dignity in which their civil and human rights should always be respected.
Religious leaders from a variety of traditions have publicly called for humane treatment of immigrants and have condemned the separation of immigrant families and the devastating impact immigration enforcement tactics have had on wives, husbands and children alike.
We believe it is the duty of local law enforcement to protect and serve our local communities, and blurred lines between the deportation agenda of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and the purpose of local police have already caused people to fear that reporting crimes to police could result in their deportation or the deportation of a loved one.
Local governments, and especially local law enforcement agencies, have faced historically difficult budget cuts in recent years that require them to focus attention on the greatest dangers to community safety.
President Obama, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, and ICE Director John Morton have issued directives that law enforcement resources should not be wasted on destroying the families of immigrants who have established strong ties to the U.S., are supporting their families, or are pursuing education, and pose no danger to society.
Both internal ICE documents and Buquer v. Indianapolis confirms the fact that ICE deportation holds are not criminal warrants but instead voluntary requests.
THEREFORE, We, the undersigned urge our local city, counties, state government representatives and law enforcement officials to adopt memorandums of agreement and local ordinances stating they will not submit to ICE hold requests on immigrants in their custody who pose no danger to society. We stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters in opposing enforcement policies that separate families and hurt communities. We pledge to strive toward improved policies to uphold human dignity and maintain public safety for all.