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40 Faith Leaders Send One-Sentence Letter to Obama: Don’t Forget Migrant Children

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Yesterday, forty national faith leaders delivered a succinct, one-sentence message to President Obama urging him not to compromise the lives of children fleeing violence in any future executive action.

With new reports of Honduran children being killed following their deportation from the US and Mexico, the short message underscores the critical importance of protecting children and families seeking safety. The entire letter reads:

While we celebrate the potential of executive action to alleviate the suffering caused by our nation’s broken immigration system – particularly in light of political inaction in Congress – it must not come at the cost of due process and access to humanitarian protection for children and families fleeing violence in Central America.

As Sister Simone Campbell, the Executive Director of NETWORK, said:

Given the failure of Congress, we have a broken immigration system that needs to be addressed as much as possible administratively, but we shouldn’t make trade-offs. These are two different realities: refugees fleeing for their lives and the undocumented in our nation who are contributing to our society. Both need to be protected. Both need the President’s action. The best would be for Congress to act, but absent this, the President needs to provide the leadership.

View the letter here. 

List of signatories:

  • Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
  • Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO, Church World Service
  • Rev. David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
  • Very Rev. Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., President, Jesuit Conference of the United States
  • Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, General Secretary, American Baptist Churches
  • Nancy K. Kaufman, CEO, National Council of Jewish Women
  • Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disiples of Christ)
  • The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
  • Mark Hetfield, President and CEO, HIAS
  • Bishop Minerva Carcaño, Los Angeles Resident Bishop, United Methodist Church
  • Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
  • Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, United Methodist Board of Church and Society
  • Jim Wallis, President, Sojourners
  • Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, Founder & President, Uri L’Tzedek, Jewish Orthodox Social Justice
  • Linda Hartke, President and CEO, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director, African American Ministers In Action
  • Rev. Jim Winkler, General Secretary, National Council of Churches
  • Jared Feldman, Vice President and Washington Director, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
  • Sister Patt McDermott, RSM, President, Institute of the Sisters of Mercy
  • Sister Janet Mock, CSJ, Executive Director, Leadership Conference of Women Religious
  • Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life
  • Very Rev. James Greenfield, OSFS, President, Conference of Major Superiors of Men
  • Rev. Paula Clayton Dempsey, Director of Partnership Relations, Alliance of Baptists
  • Sister Margaret Magee, OSF, President, Franciscan Action Network
  • Sister Louise Gallahue, DC, Provincial, Daughters of Charity
  • Imam Abdullah T. Antepli, Founder, Muslim Chaplains Association
  • Rev. Tim Mulroy, SSC, U.S.A Regional Director, Missionary Society of St. Columban
  • Sr. Patricia Chappell, Executive Director, Pax Christi USA
  • Elizabeth Soto Albrecht, Moderator, Mennonite Church USA
  • J Ron Byler, U.S. Executive Director, Mennonite Central Committee
  • Bishop Fred W. Washington, Jurisdictional Prelate Minnesota Ecclesiastical, Jurisdiction, Church of God in Christ
  • Stanley J. Noffsinger, General Secretary, Church of the Brethren
  • Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin, Former General Secretary, National Council of Churches
  • Alexander D. Baumgarten, Director of Government Relations, The Episcopal Church
  • Katharine Henderson, President, Auburn Seminary
  • Rob Rutland-Brown, Executive Director, National Justice for Our Neighbors
  • Sara Dwyer, ASC, Office of Justice and Peace Coordinator, Adorers of the Blood of Christ, U.S. Region
  • Rev. Donald H. Ashmall, Council Minister, International Council of Community Churches
  • Linda Jaramillo, Executive Minister, Justice & Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ
  • Rev. Dr. Dale E. Luffman, Ecumenical & Interfaith Officer, Community of Christ
  • Rev. Dr. Ron Degges, President, Disciples Home Missions