On January 25, President Trump signed executive orders that insufficiently address the American immigration system. The orders called for the construction of a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, an increase in both border patrol forces and immigration enforcement officers and a decrease in federal funding to sanctuary cities. In a press release, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, called the move a “misguided means of addressing the very real challenges facing our immigration system,” and emphasized the need for immigration policies that “unite and strengthen families.”
Instead of myopically prioritizing border security alone, it is clear that we need comprehensive immigration reform that both fulfills our national security imperatives and creates a path to citizenship for those already living and contributing to our communities. As a nation of immigrants, we know these executive orders to be unjust, but as a community of faith, we also understand them to be in conflict with our values. Leviticus teaches, “When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (19:33-34).
Now is not the time to be discouraged. Instead, it is a moment to stand up for what we believe in. Take action today and urge your Member of Congress to support immigration reform that is truly comprehensive, and learn about how your congregation and others can get involved in providing sanctuary for immigrants facing deportation.
Below, check out our roundup of Reform Jews' participation in protests against the executive order.