Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I received this e-mail this morning.
Every day, as a pastor at St. Sabrina Parish in Belton, Missouri, I see the systems that are supposed to protect Americans instead denying our people their God-given dignity.
Called by my faith tradition to love God with everything I am and to love my brothers and sisters as myself, I must speak out.
Nayelly Sandoval is a brave twelve year-old U.S. citizen in my community whose father, Josue, was deported in January. Together, Nayelly and I have asked local and regional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in Missouri and Chicago why they took her daddy and have been met with cold silence.
After being stonewalled at the local and regional levels, today, we bring Nayelly’s question directly to President Obama and to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson in Washington, DC.
Join us and more than one thousand clergy across America today to ask the President and Secretary Johnson: If we are a country that values family, why do we continue to destroy families like Nayelly’s with broken laws and unaccountable ICE offices?
Today Nayelly and I are in DC, standing shoulder to shoulder with clergy from across the country and with other American children who’ve lost their parents to deportation in recent months. We will be delivering a letter signed by over a thousand clergy and faith leaders calling on President Obama to end the suffering of our immigrant families by expanding Deferred Action to include people who would be eligible for a pathway to citizenship under the bill the US Senate passed a year ago, including parents of American children.
Calling on our President to expand Deferred Action to adults is not about politics – it is about looking at the faces of those who are suffering and responding with the mercy, compassion and forgiveness that God has shown to all of us.
May we rise together - acting with all of the strength and love that God has put within us - to end the suffering of our immigrant families.
In prayer, in action and in hope,
Father Jeff Stephan
Clergy Leader with Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO), from St. Sabrina Parish in Missouri
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