ST. PAUL, MN – Many state legislators and local faith-based leaders showed solidarity for immigrant families, hoping to keep the pressure on Washington to reunite the thousands of separated families that were seeking asylum in the US.
“We are deeply concerned about and oppose the ongoing separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border and the indefinite detention of children and their parents,” said Senator Melisa Franzen. “We hope to pressure the Administration and Congress to resolve this humanitarian crisis in accordance with our best traditions and highest values as Americans and as people of faith.”
“I cannot think of any religious system, an honorable political party or any American citizen that could possibly deem this is as ethical,” said Rabbi Sim Glaser, Temple Israel. “Years from now do we want to look back at this moment in American history and admit we allowed such a thing to happen?”
Judy Halper, CEO, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis: “I stand here on behalf of a network throughout this country that stands ready to help immigrants and refugees, wherever they may come, in order to have the basic skills and needs met so they can become contributing members of our society.”
“Let us not lose sight of the damage that this is doing to the children,” said Rev. Doug Mitchell, representing the Minnesota Council of Churches. “The permanent brain development trauma can set these children back in ways that socially and psychologically they may never recover from. The value of protecting them, regardless of faith commitments, should call us all to find ways to change the policy on our southern border to a more just and open policy.”
Those in attendance: Senator Melisa Franzen; Senator Jason Issacson; Senator Patricia Torres Ray; Senator Chris Eaton; Senator Sandy Pappas; Senator Susan Kent; Senator Jim Carlson; State Representative Sandra Masin; State Representative Mike Freiberg; State Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein; State Representative Debra Hilstrom; Ethan Roberts, Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas; John Keller, Executive Director, Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota; Most Reverend Andrew H. Cozzens, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis; Rabbi Sim Glaser, Temple Israel, representing the Minnesota Rabbinical Association; Judy Halper, CEO, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis; Reverend Doug Mitchell, board member for the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, representing the Minnesota Council of Churches.