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West Hills Friends approved this minute on Immigration.

Immigration

"Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all." - Proverbs 22:2

We at West Hills Friends call for reform of the current immigration system. At every level of law enforcement, undocumented immigrants -- men, women and children just like any one of us -- are treated as less than human. Their basic human rights are ignored. As Christians and Quakers we declare that such treatment of our fellow human beings is wrong, and that the policies which have dictated this course of action are abhorrent and unconscionable to us.

We ask that our elected political leaders put an end to these practices. A just and workable program offering documentation to those who want to remain here to work is one way to heal the wounds our society has inflicted. We have heard the command of God through Moses, "Treat the alien as one of you, because you were aliens in Egypt." We are also mindful of the words of Jesus Christ, 'As you have done to the least of these, you have done to me."

We recognize the intensity of the debate surrounding immigration. We also recognize importance of national security, yet we also demand humane treatment of persons caught in the crossing of the line that marks such a disparity of wealth and opportunity between our neighboring countries.

We affirm the need for the following:

  • That safeguarding and monitoring of the national borders be carried out in a humane fashion and with respect for human dignity;
  • That our government establish more functional legal mechanisms for the annual entry of a reasonable number of immigrant workers and families, given both the needs of our economy and the economic and political conditions of our neighboring countries;
  • That our government recognize the central importance of the family in society by reconsidering the number and categories of visas available for family reunification, dedicate more resources to reducing the backlog of family reunification cases in process, and stop deportations that separate husbands from wives, children from parents, or forces citizens or legal residents to abandon this country in order to be with their spouses, parents, or children;
  • That our government support a refugee and asylum policy for those displaced by conflict, oppression, environmental change, natural disaster, and economic destitution;
  • That our government establish a sound, equitable process toward earning legal documentation for undocumented immigrants already in-country, who desire to embrace the responsibilities and privileges that accompany residency and/or citizenship.
  • That our government and our people acknowledge and take steps to rectify our own participation in the oppression of Latin-American people and their countries.