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Faith Leaders Coalition and Allies Oppose Gov. Abbott's Stance on Immigration

Dear Governor Abbott:

We, the undersigned faith leaders in the Greater Houston area value the diversity of Houston and want all Houston residents to feel safe and free from fear. While we realize that it is popular in certain circles to seem “tough” on undocumented immigrants, the current efforts by your office are immoral and go against what we believe as people of faith and value as Americans.

As it is now, our city and county law enforcement personnel are doing all they can to prevent violent crime and to make our area safe. Diverting limited resources from these aims puts people at risk. The actions of your office foster a culture of fear. A simple, routine traffic stop could lead to separating families and deportation. Moreover, the threat of detention and deportation will make it less likely for people to come forward with evidence to prevent violent crime.

Our sacred texts are full of admonitions to protect the stranger and the immigrant. We are called on to look after the most vulnerable in society and to show them compassion. It is indisputable that our national immigration policies are in need of revision. The current situation is untenable. We rely on undocumented immigrants as a crucial labor source in our economy and they are an invaluable part of our community. While we wait for sensible immigration solutions, it makes no sense to terrorize our city and strong arm local authorities.

The threat of denying money for needed programs makes your office’s actions even more morally reprehensible. You will be punishing people who benefit from those programs even though they have done nothing to deserve it. That is the very definition of injustice. The money denied to these programs is our money, paid with our tax dollars and approved by our elected officials.

It is our hope and prayer that you and your office will relent from pursuing these efforts. In our traditions, mercy and compassion are our highest values. We trust that you share these values and implore you to do the right thing.

Yours Sincerely,

Rev. Jonathan C. Page

First Congregational Church of Houston

The Reverend Lisa Hunt

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Houston

Rev. William R. Taylor

United Methodist Church

Rev. Will Reed

First United Methodist Church, Pasadena

Rev. Keatan King

St. Philip Presbyterian Church, Houston

Rev. Vicki Gibbs

Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Houston

Rev. Dr. Becky Edmiston-Lange

Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston

Rev. Kelly Sullivan

First United Methodist Church, Pasadena

Rev. Beverly Snedeker

Presbyterian Church, USA

Rev. Carolyn Allen

Memorial Drive Christian Church, Houston

Rev. D. Darnell Fennell

Just Love Church (UCC/DOC), Houston

Rev. Troy Treash

Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Houston

Rev. Jonathan Britt

St. Thomas Presbyterian Church, Houston

Larry E. Lutz

President, Dignity /Houston

Rabbi Steven M. Gross

Houston Congregation for Reformed Judaism

Rev. Dr. Jim Bankston

United Methodist Church

The Rev. Dr. Guinn Blackwell-Eagleson

Presbyterian Church, USA

Rev. Marty Troyer

Houston Mennonite Church

Myokei Caine-Barrett, Shonin

Myoken-ji Temple/Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Texas

Rabbi Joshua Herman

Congregation Beth Israel, Houston

The Rev. Fred Clarkson

St. Timothy Episcopal Church, Houston

Rev. Troy Johnson

Fresh Start Community Church of Houston

Rev. Dr. T. Randall Smith

United Methodist Church

Rev. Donna Renfro

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church, Woodlands

Rev. J. Ernest Turney

Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, Houston

Rev. Matthew Hudman

Memorial Drive Christian Church, Houston

Rev. Stephanie Synder

Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, Houston

David Atwood

Pax Christi Houston

Rev. Jenni Martin Fairbanks

Just Love (UCC/DOC) Houston

Sister Ceil Roeger, OP

Dominican Sisters of Houston

Rabbi Gideon Estes

Congregation Or Ami, Houston

Rev. Mak Kneebone