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Help oppose the upcoming ICE raids on immigrant families

Help oppose the upcoming ICE raids on immigrant families

What's going on and three concrete ways to help


UPDATE (06/22/2019): According to reports Saturday, the planned raids described below have been postponed. However, other deportation arrests are ongoing and the "family op" may be reinstated at any time. The RAC remains vigilant and ready to oppose these deportations if and when they begin. We continue to encourage everyone to connect with local immigrant justice organizations.

The federal government announced this week that it will begin raids targeting immigrant families across the United States. The so-called “family op” will terrorize our friends, neighbors, and coworkers — and by targeting undocumented family members, it will likely replicate the traumatic family separation we’re seeing on the southern border. Children with legal status could very well be ripped away from undocumented parents.

Reports indicate that these raids are scheduled to start Sunday morning. They are likely to initially target the following cities, though deportations can happen anywhere: New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Baltimore and Newark.

Reform Jews have long stood for the protection of undocumented members of our community, a commitment rooted in our holiest texts:

"When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong them. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love them as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Leviticus 19:33)

Now more than ever, we must fulfill our commitment to standing with undocumented immigrants. You can do these three things today:

  1. Connect with a local immigrant justice organization: Potential ways to help include being present at the raids to document and share what happens, spreading “know your rights” information, organizing legal assistance and providing supplies to affected families or transportation to volunteers. Find a group near you.
  2. Contact local law enforcement and government officials: ICE often requests support from local law enforcement. Make sure your police department and county sheriff’s department are not planning to support these deportation raids by calling the departments and your elected city and county officials. Demand that they do not collaborate with ICE.
  3. Mobilize your congregation or other Reform community: Reach out to fellow members and work collectively on the items listed above. Explore whether your synagogue can offer physical sanctuary to immigrants.

The best way to be an ally is by building meaningful relationships. Join with other congregations, interfaith networks and local migrant-led coalitions. Get to know the people involved, learn what they need and share your own skills. Together we can build a more just and compassionate nation, as we saw this week when Reform Jews in New York State joined a coalition to secure the right of undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.

Dr. Julia Paley is the Director of Immigraiton Justice for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

Published: 6/21/2019