As women of faith, we call on the Department of Homeland Security to immediately stop tearing apart families. As Secretary of the Department, you bear moral responsibility for ripping toddlers from their mothers’ arms in a cruel effort to deny them the ability to seek asylum and safety in accordance with our laws. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has separated over 600 children from their parents at the border in May alone. In many cases, parents are not told where their children will be taken.
Many of these families seek to apply for asylum; by international law, these families should receive a fair hearing, not immediately be judged as criminals.
In all of our faith traditions, women have always taken action when their families and communities have been at risk of grave evil and injustice: from Hagar fleeing with her son, to Esther intervening on behalf of her people, to Mary escaping with Jesus to protect him from Herod’s genocide. We stand in the tradition of these women of valor to defend families from the pain and trauma of our government’s cruel and inhumane treatment.
By tearing apart families, our government traumatizes children of God and tramples on our values. The soul of our nation is at stake.
A society is measured by how we care for the most vulnerable among us. Children arriving at the border with their families, many fleeing violence in their native countries, have already experienced significant trauma. The least we can do is to refrain from adding to this trauma by ripping these children away from their families.
As women of faith, we are united in moral conviction that justice is a deed, not just a word. As a public servant, you have the power and the duty to do justice by keeping children united with their families instead of coldly pulling them apart. As a leader and as a woman, you must put an end to this horror. Whether at the border or in their homes, children belong with their families.
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