[Sayma-Discuss] FW: AFSC Statement on Immigrant Detention

Free Polazzo freepolazzo at comcast.net
Fri Jan 23 21:27:45 EST 2009

Dear SAYMA Friends,


Please share this Statement on Immigrant Detention by AFSC with your






From: Ruth Seeley [mailto:RSeeley at afsc.org] 
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 4:13 PM
To: Ruth Seeley
Subject: AFSC Statement on Immigrant Detention


Dear AFSC Board and Corporation Members,


The Board Executive Committee had a very productive meeting January 9-10 at
which it strongly approved the Board Statement on Immigrant Detention
proposed by the New York Metropolitan Regional Executive Committee (see
below).  We noted that this was the work-in-progress we heard about in the
November Board meeting. 


Please feel free to share this statement with Friends Meetings and Friends.




Paul Lacey


Copied to Senior Managers


AFSC Statement on Immigrant Detention 



The Quaker vision of justice is grounded in our core belief that "there is
that of God in everyone" and the Biblical call to welcome the stranger. Our
vision, as it applies to immigration, draws on years of experience in
international human rights work and with immigrant communities worldwide.
Human migration is a global phenomenon driven by political, social and
economic considerations that demand not just our attention, but our humanity
and compassion. We are all God's people, no matter our circumstances.  


And so we react with dismay to the increasing criminalization of individuals
with tenuous legal status in the United States. In particular, we see the
increasing overuse and abuse of detention as a demonstrably failed policy
and practice. The U.S. government's punitive focus on arrest, detention and
deportation diverts attention from more compelling human, civil and labor
rights issues and from the complex causes of immigration. This punitive
focus, in its harsh and capricious application, shatters families and stokes
fear in communities; creates incentives for individuals and businesses to
profit by the incarceration of others; and shames our highest ideals as
Americans and our deepest convictions as Quakers.  


We envision an immigration policy free of imprisonment, a policy that offers
humane treatment to asylum seekers, refugees, and economic migrants, and
that provides for legal status for undocumented immigrants  


We call for the end to the misguided and profoundly unjust policy of
detention in our immigration system.


Approved by the Board Executive Committee, January 10, 2009


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