I know a Pastor who has been in detention for seven months.
He is a Dreamer who made a minor error at 18 years old when he travelled outside the country thinking that he had permission. He has kidney issues, and, like countless other detainees, he sees the novel coronavirus coming for him like a freight train. We are inviting people of faith to help us do something about the avoidable devastation that threatens our prisons and detention centers during this COVID-19 crisis.
Please read the letter below to Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf and consider signing as well as talking to your Congressional Representatives about it. To have your signature added, you can email Alexia at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sheltering in place may keep us apart, but it does not have to keep us from coming together on behalf of justice for the most vulnerable. Will you join us?
Dear Mr. Wolf:
We are writing as Christian leaders across the country concerned about our vulnerable brothers and sisters who are residing in detention centers where Coronavirus protections and treatment are difficult to obtain. Many of them do not represent any threat to public safety; their only offenses were entry or re-entry without immigration documentation. They do not deserve a potential death sentence.
We are asking you to expand the opportunities for alternatives to detention. We are particularly requesting the humanitarian release of elderly detainees and those with underlying health conditions. We offer the resources of our ministries and denominational structures to be used in collaboration with non-profit organizations and public officials to find placement for these individuals and families with sponsors, temporary shelter and basic services.
“Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
In Christ’s name,
Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero, President – National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr., President – Esperanza
Sr. Norma Pimentel, Catholic Charities, Rio Grande Valley
Rev. Carlos L. Malave, Executive Director, Christian Churches Together in the USA
Rev. Ruben N. Ortiz, Latino Field Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Rev. Andres Serrano, Director Hispanic Ministries, Reformed Church of America
Pr. Salvador Orellana, Director of Intercultural Ministries, American Baptist Churches
Rev. Ruben Duran, Director for Congregational Vitality, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Rev. Lori Tapia, National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Fr. Antonio Guillen, Missioner, Latino/Hispanic Ministries and Director, Ethnic Ministries | The Episcopal Church
Rev. Roberto Ochoa, Associate for Congregations of Color &, Ethnic Identified Congregations United Church of Christ
Marco A. Grimaldo, Deputy Director of Church Relations, Bread for the World
Dr. Fernando Cascante, Executive Director, Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH), Director of The Justo Center
Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, Coordinator of Relations with Entities of , Theological Education, AETH
Vince Gonzales, Mitigation Specialist, National Leader United Methodist Church
Rev. Ismael Ruiz-Millán, Director, Hispanic House of Studies, Duke Divinity School
Dr. Edwin David Aponte, Executive Director, Louisville Institute
Rev. Efrain Pineda Jr., Congreso Red & Vida Church, Founder & Lead Pastor
Iris de León-Hartshorn, Associate Executive Director of Operations, Mennonite Church USA
Rev. Michael Mata, First Church of the Nazarene, Los Angeles
Rev. Lee de Leon, Executive Pastor, Templo Calvario, Santa Ana, CA
Dr. Robert Chao Romero, Assistant Professor César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies UCLA
Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, Matthew 25 and Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies Fuller Theological Seminary