Leaders with Faith in Action federations Faith in New York and Faith in New Jersey helped gather over 200 signatures for an open letter calling on the Hudson County Commissioners to vote no on extending their contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). After 12 hours of public testimony, the Commissioners voted to extend the contract, which is a disservice to the county and states of New York and New Jersey.
Richard Morales, policy and program director for LA RED, Faith in Action’s campaign dedicated to immigrant rights, Crystal Walthall, Executive Director of Faith in New York, Bishop James I. Clark, Jr. of Christ Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith and Faith in New York Board Chair, Rabbi Joel N. Abraham, Faith in New Jersey Board Secretary, Charlene Walker, Executive Director of Faith in New Jersey, and Bishop Raymond Rivera of the Latino Pastoral Action Center and The Micah Faith Table NYC, have issued the following statements:
“Extending the contract with ICE represents an immoral partnership with ICE, an agency that must be defunded and abolished. The Hudson County Freeholders know ICE is an agency centered on separating families, cruelty and violence towards immigrants in New Jersey and made the decision to extend the contract based on profits. Regardless of the decision to extend the contract Faith in Action is committed to ending family separation, detention and deportation and will continue to advocate the end of ICE contracts in New Jersey and throughout the United States.” – Richard Morales, policy and program director, LA RED
“It is shameful that the Hudson County Freeholders bypassed their opportunity to vote for people over profit. Extending this contract with ICE is only extending the fear, terror, and separation that disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx immigrant communities in New York and New Jersey. As people of faith, we will not be deterred by these actions, but instead push harder to end the systems of incarceration and oppression that separate our families and violate the sanctity of the Beloved Community.” – Crystal Walthall, Executive Director, Faith in New York
“The treatment of immigration in this country must be more humane. For the Hudson County Commissioners to vote to continue immigration detention undermines any effort to afford our immigrant communities the same care and protections that they deserve. We must continue to stand against the dehumanizing effects of ICE’s actions.” – Bishop James I. Clark, Jr., Christ Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith and Faith in New York Board Chair
“After twelve hours of consistent testimony against the renewing of the contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it is reprehensible – bordering on shameful – that they would vote to continue this contract with ICE. The policies of ICE are repressive, oppressive and inhumane. It is a very sad and dehumanizing decision for our immigrant community.” – Bishop Raymond Rivera, Latino Pastoral Action Center & The Micah Faith Table NYC
“My faith calls upon me to not stand idly by while my neighbor bleeds, to reproach my neighbor when they are running to do what is wrong. How can I remain silent when my neighbors are bleeding, and Hudson County is not only standing by, but profiting? Hudson County is complicit in the wrongful detention of human beings: of separating parents from children, spouses from each other, and imprisoning those innocent of any wrongdoing – other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” – Rabbi Joel N. Abraham, Faith in New Jersey Board Secretary
“Last night, I witnessed a failure of democracy in Hudson County. Instead of listening to hours of testimony from those with lived experience within detention, doctors, lawyers, faith leaders, advocates and fellow lawmakers on the harmful impacts of our immigration system, the Hudson County Commissioners actively chose to side with injustice. Choosing to extend this contract with ICE is a clear lack of moral courage. It is an investment in a system that profits off of the pain of our immigrant communities and over policing of Black and Brown people. We will not be deterred. We will continue to fight for an end to our crimigration system.” – Charlene Walker, Executive Director, Faith in New Jersey