The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, of which FAN is a part, agreed to a letter-writing campaign during the month of October to oppose the SAFE act, which is currently being considered in Congress. Following is FAN's contribution, which was sent to Congress on Monday, October 7. For more information on the SAFE act and what it entails, click here.
Dear Speaker Boehner and Members of Congress,
Franciscan Action Network, a national organization which provides a collective Franciscan voice addressing U.S. public policy, has serious concerns about H.R. 2278, the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act, or SAFE Act. Who is really more “safe” if this bill is enacted? Not immigrants for whom the threat of detentions and deportations will intensify and who are likely to suffer from racial profiling. Not those in our places of worship and social service centers who will face criminal charges for assisting all people in humanitarian and spiritual need, including immigrants without legal status. Not even the American public who would be ill served by the enforcement of unconstitutional detentions which are not in accord with American values of compassion and fairness. Moreover, the SAFE Act would not fix any of the real problems of our broken immigration system whose failure is acknowledged by both political parties and both chambers of Congress.
As followers of Jesus Christ and St. Francis of Assisi, we promote the dignity of every human person and work to assure that those with whom we minister are treated with respect, fairness and compassion. Many of our members care for the humanitarian, educational, health and spiritual needs of people most in need. They know first-hand the heart-breaking stories of families who have been separated, of those who came to this country illegally because there were no legal ways for them to come in order to find work to provide for their children. So many of these immigrants from different countries have made a good life for their families, are involved in civic and religious life where they reside, and desire to emerge from the shadows and become U.S. citizens with the privileges and responsibilities that come with citizenship.
St. Francis of Assisi greeted all with the words, “Peace and all good.” We Franciscan women and men wish you this blessing as we pray that you will work to enact legislation that provides an earned, accessible path to citizenship, promotes family unity, and ensures genuine “safety” for immigrants, for those who assist them, and , ultimately, for all who live in our beloved country.
Peace and all good,
Margaret Magee, OSF