Atheist/Humanist Statement Condemning US Border Crisis & Nativist Attacks on Undocumented Immigrants


border crisis

As many of you are aware there is a growing human rights crisis on the U.S. border vis-a-vis the treatment of unaccompanied minors and their families.  This has emboldened nativist and nationalist activists across the country.  I’ve drafted a brief statement condemning the racist/nativist treatment of refugee and undocumented communities and included it below.  Given the lack of organized atheist/humanist anti-racist response to these issues it’s important atheists/humanists of conscience take a stance. If you’re interested in signing please see this link

STATEMENT

The influx of Central American families and unaccompanied minors at the U.S. border has escalated into a human rights crisis which some have exploited to make xenophobic, racist and nativist attacks against undocumented immigrants and refugees.  Over the past few months, thousands of underage youth fleeing violence and instability in their native countries have been warehoused in substandard Homeland Security facilities.  According to the ACLU some have allegedly suffered abuse at the hands of border officials.  This week, angry protestors stormed and turned away buses full of predominantly women and children detainees in Murrieta, California.  These attacks will only increase, as they are part of a national climate of hatred, hostility and discrimination against undocumented individuals and their families (which are often of mixed citizenship status) and communities.  These attacks have been encouraged by the Republican-controlled House’s refusal to pass a comprehensive humane immigration bill that is informed by the progressive legacy of civil and human rights resistance forged by disenfranchised communities in this country.

As humanists and atheists of conscience, we find this climate of demonization morally and politically reprehensible.  We categorically condemn the anti “illegal” immigrant and anti-human rights vitriol promoted by Republicans like California Congressman Darrell Issa who has called for the Obama administration to rescind its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.  We fundamentally oppose the Obama administration’s escalation of deportation on the grounds that it is inhumane, breaks up families, and exposes both undocumented and citizen youth to sexual exploitation, foster care placement, homelessness and incarceration.

As humanists and atheists of conscience, we strongly support the administration’s DACA policy, as well as regional efforts to ensure equity, access and opportunity for undocumented youth in education and employment.  We support humane efforts to resolve the refugee crisis at the border peacefully—including providing unaccompanied youth with just legal representation, immigration relief and humanitarian protection—while respecting the dignity and human rights of unaccompanied youth and their families.

Recently, the Obama administration expressed a willingness to bypass the obstructionists of the House on immigration reform.  As humanists and atheists of conscience we believe that the administration’s commitment must address the climate of racist demonization that prevails in this country, as well as equitably uphold democratic rights for undocumented and other disenfranchised communities.

 

Initial Signatories:

Maggie Ardiente, The American Humanist Association

Toni Achebe Bell, Black Skeptics Los Angeles

Richard Carrier, Author

Greta Christina, Author/Activist

Rebecca Hensler, Grief Beyond Belief

Sikivu Hutchinson, BSG/Black Skeptics Los Angeles

Yvonne Divans Hutchinson, Educator

Anthony Pinn, Professor and author

Amy Roth, Los Angeles Atheist Women’s Group & Skepchick

Secular Woman

Aishah Shahidah Simmons (spiritualist in solidarity), Documentary filmmaker and professor

Hilaire Sobers, Skeptically Speaking

Frederick Sparks, Black Skeptics Los Angeles

Kimberly Veal, Black Freethinkers Network/POCBF

Donald Wright, Houston Black Non-Believers

 

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/atheists-and-humanists-condemn-human-rights-crisis

Comments

  1. smrnda says

    Given the lack of stability in some of the countries these undocumented immigrants are coming from (and how many of them have been destabilized by the US) these people should be treated as refugees, not criminals.

  2. oldoligarch says

    ‘…which some have exploited to make xenophobic, racist and nativist attacks against undocumented immigrants and refugees.’ In other words humans acting to defend their interest and their children’s against potential competitors for jobs, scholarships and money (an absolutely essential resource) which will be taken from them in the form of taxes and provided to their competitors in the form of services, leaving the “nativist” less in their pockets to provide for their own.
    Tell me, do the signs held by the “pro-immigrants” telling European-Americans to go back to Europe bother you? Isn’t this racist?Are do you subscribe to the inane belief that non-Europeans can’t be racist?

  3. yazikus says

    Given the lack of stability in some of the countries these undocumented immigrants are coming from (and how many of them have been destabilized by the US) these people should be treated as refugees, not criminals.

    (bolding mine)
    This so much. They are economic refugees. I watched a documentary (Which Way Home) about the harrowing journey by train many of these children take, the assaults they face, the horrific risks they take, all because it might lead to something better. I’ve been heartbroken when listening to the coverage of this crisis, the ‘coyote’ or smuggler talking about how they prefer young children because you just float them across and leave them for border control, the bravery of the older siblings carrying the younger ones to what they think is a better life. And then the photos came out. Their ‘accommodations’. Pens I wouldn’t put a dog in. Children strewn around on the floor. And now they are going to be sending some to joint base Lewis-McChord. That should end well.

    My heart breaks for these children. For their parents or family who thought that this risk was worth it. And I am so angry at the way it is being addressed by our government. Petition signed.

  4. says

    angry protestors stormed and turned away buses full of predominantly women and children detainees in Murrieta, California

    See, if you protest by sitting-in, for example as with the Occupy movement, you get treated brutally as a security threat. But actually interfere with the operation of the law, and you can succeed. Funny how that works. (Never mind that the system already treats the refugees like dirt.)

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