Just yesterday (Monday, June 18) the Wilton Interfaith Action Committee (Wi-ACT) released a statement signed by members of the steering committee, speaking out against what it called the “hateful practices” of current U.S. immigration policy. They write that the zero-tolerance policy of separating all children from their parents after families cross the border with Mexico is “unthinkable” and “heinous.”
The Wi-ACT statement appears in full, below:
Whatever one’s views on immigration policy, some things are so profoundly beyond the pale as to require the strongest response–and especially so from those of us who work in the community in support of religious principles we hold dear. One of the most foundational principles that cuts across all of the religious traditions our membership encompasses (Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim) and speaks to the humanity of all of us is this: do onto others only what we would have done to ourselves.
The bonds between parent and child are foundational in life, and separating children from their parents, especially at young ages, causes scientifically documented repercussions in those children’s lives far beyond the period of separation. A policy of separation of children from their parents aimed intentionally at inflicting damage to deter conduct, and one that is applied even if the parents are seeking asylum on grounds recognized under U.S. law and before those claims have even been heard yet alone adjudicated, is so pernicious as to be unthinkable as the stated policy of this country. And yet today it is that policy.
We speak out in the strongest terms against these parent-child separations and call on those who would apply them to end these hateful practices and reunite immediately the families they have so heinously separated.
Marilyn Van Raalte
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that the statement was made by the 39 steering committee members, and was not intended to imply that it spoke for all of the approximately 700 members of Wi-ACT.
Update, 12:45 p.m.: GMW has deleted one name at the individual’s request, and removed a second name of someone who is no longer in Wilton.