South Carolina’s Only Statewide Ecumenical Agency Urges Restraint

Columbia, SC – November 10 – South Carolina Christian Action Council today issues call for Moratorium on Immigration Raids in South Carolina.

The human condition is built on justice and mercy. Justice promotes and protects the rights of all people with no stratification of privilege. Mercy acts to provide the requirements of life to those who, because of native ability or circumstance, cannot provide for themselves.

Immigrants and newcomers possess all the rights and corresponding responsibilities recognized by the Church. These do not derive from membership in a state or from immigration status, but from the inherent dignity of every person. Our understanding of scripture assures us that what confers rights is personhood—that we are created in the image of God—not citizenship.1

1.   Immigration raids are targeting workers, typically immigrants, based on racial and ethnic appearance, accent, or limited English skills. This is discrimination and violates both citizens and legally present non-citizen rights.
2.   During raids, U.S. citizen children are separated from their parents—sometimes for days. Children are stranded at day-care centers, schools, or homes of friends or relatives. The long-term impact on these children’s lives is unknown. Many times families may never be reunited.
3.   There is no readily accessible process to find a person in detention. Usually the assistance of an attorney is required.
4.   Raids reduce trust at all levels in law enforcement which results in immigrants fearful in calling police. This is especially true for domestic violence victims and immigrants who witness crimes.
5.   Immigration raids DO NOT solve the problem of undocumented immigration. Only comprehensive federal reform can do this.

Therefore, the South Carolina Christian Action Council Board of Directors calls upon:

·        The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to declare a moratorium on immigration raids in the State of South Carolina, until our nation implements a comprehensive and just reform of our immigration laws.

·        The faith communities of South Carolina to engage in educational and other activities that will inform and inspire more concern and love of all persons.

·        All persons to move beyond attitudes of fear, jealousy, distrust, and hate to restore an atmosphere of mutual concern towards all.

Adopted: SCCAC Board of Directors
November 7, 2008

About the South Carolina Christian Action Council: Living and working together as the Body of Christ, SC’s only statewide ecumenical agency, the South Carolina Christian Action Council is a partnership of 16 Denominations represented in 21 Regional Judicatories. Approximately 4,300 congregations are related to the Council with a total membership of nearly 1.1 million South Carolinians. The Council’s mission includes work for justice.

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