Immigration Policy Reform

 
  • 2017 UULMNJ Resolution to Support Fair and Welcoming Policies

    UU LEGISLATIVE MINISTRY OF NJ RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT FAIR AND WELCOMING POLICIES TOWARD IMMIGRANTS 

    Adopted by Immigration Reform Task Force members and endorsed by the Board of Trustees of the UULMNJ March/April 2017

    Whereas our Unitarian Universalist principles include a respect for the worth and dignity of every human being, as well as justice and compassion in human relations and the goal of building a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and,

    Whereas our Unitarian Universalist sources include “words and deeds of prophetic men and women which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;” and,

    Whereas in 2013 the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly approved a Statement of Conscience, Immigration as a Moral Issue, that “compels us to affirm that all immigrants, regardless of legal status, should be treated justly and humanely;” and,

    Whereas that statement lists certain minimum standards for a such a moral immigration policy, including a path to legal residency and citizenship, improved work visas, equal access to medical care and education, due process including legal representation, and more;[1] and,

    Whereas in 2014 undocumented immigrants made up almost 6% of New Jersey’s population and the new federal immigration law-enforcement policies have increased the level of fear in these communities;[2] and acknowledging that all residents of these United States—except for those who are  members of indigenous tribal nations or who are descended from persons who were brought here in slavery—are themselves immigrants or descended from immigrants, not all of whom necessarily followed the letter of the law when they arrived; and,

    WHEREAS our intention is to ensure that New Jersey is and remains a Sanctuary/fair and welcoming state, at least within our Unitarian Universalist communities;

    THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED that, with that intention as our goal, each and every UU congregation, fellowship, and society in New Jersey has taken or is preparing to take some action to support our immigrant neighbors, including one or more of the following actions:

    • We will enter into partnership or collaboration with a community group of immigrants and their friends and neighbors.
    • We will assist the sanctuary movement, whether a congregation itself serves as a sanctuary for persons who would otherwise be deported, assists a religious organization of any faith that is serving as a sanctuary, or acts in any other appropriate manner in solidarity with our neighbors.
    • We will be active in efforts to improve our nation’s immigration policies, which surely need to be reformed to embody a more humane and caring approach to our neighbors.
    • We will be ready to provide assistance whenever possible to those who fear oppression due to their immigration status, recognizing that we are in a changing environment in which enforcement policies and activities are changing unpredictably, while we wish to hold up a steady and reliable moral principle.

    [1]     http://www.uua.org/statements/immigration-moral-issue

    [2]     http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/news/state/study-shows-new-jersey-is-no-among-undocumented-immigrants/article_17eb4e85-507f-5b7f-9175-f45ab59895bb.html

  • Immigration Reform Statement
    • Our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to recognize that no one is “the stranger,” to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and to support the use of justice for all people.–— UUA’s Welcoming Our Neighbors

    Immigration – legal and illegal. It is a hot topic in NJ today; but sound bites, ideology, fear-driven responses and violent rhetoric obscure the real conversations that need to happen. What does it mean for us, as Unitarian Universalists, to respond to this complex and emotional issue? What resources are available? How do we even begin, and how can we help here in New Jersey?

    As Unitarian Universalists, we have a long history of supporting civil rights, and this includes the rights of immigrants. We have committed to a national campaign called “Standing on the Side of Love”, a campaign focused on telling the stories of individuals and families who have been denied equal rights in our country. We hope that people of all faiths and ethnicities can agree that it is better to act out of love and respect for our common humanity, rather than be guided by voices of fear and hate. We are here to lift up the voices of those who support the worth and dignity of all people, and to encourage public policy which reflects our commitment to justice and equity.