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September 29, 2008

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John Price

A Reedwood Friends (Quaker) Church Minute on United States of America Immigration Policy and Enforcement (March 2008)

“Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.” - Proverbs 22:2

Recent enforcement actions in the State of Oregon and across the nation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have resulted in the arrest and pending deportation of hundreds of people. Many of these people have committed no crime other than that of coming without documentation to the United States in order to find work and provide for their families. Those arrested now face losing all that they have earned through years of toil, and their families are being ripped apart.

Many of those recently arrested have been working here for years and have school age children who were born here and are citizens of the United States of America. In many cases these children have been asked to make a decision whether to be deported to a foreign country with their parents, or remain in the United States in foster care. These citizens of the United States must now choose between relinquishing their birthrights in order to remain with their parents, or remaining in their home country and being separated from their parents for the foreseeable future.

As Christians and Quakers we declare that such treatment of our fellow human beings is inhumane, and that the policies which have dictated this course of action are abhorrent and unconscionable to us.

We ask that our elected political leaders put an end to these intolerable and unconscionable practices and conditions. A just and workable program offering legal status to those caught up in this situation with legal opportunities for those who want to remain here to work is one way to heal the wounds our society has inflicted upon these, our brothers and sisters, and upon itself.

We have heard the command of God through Moses, “Treat the alien as one of you, because you were aliens in Egypt.” We are also mindful of the words of Jesus Christ, “As you have done to the least of these, you have done to me.”

The above is an approved minute from Reedwood Friends Church, stating our concern about U.S. immigration officials’ actions separating families. We know this minute is the beginning of an ongoing consideration of the issues around immigration, undocumented workers, families and citizenship. To contact us, write Kara Newell, clerk, Reedwood Friends Church, 2901 S.E. Steele St., Portland OR 97202; or call 503/234-5017.

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