Religious leaders responded yesterday to new immigration policies, laid out in a memorandum released Tuesday (Feb. 21) by the Department of Homeland Security. The policies will expand Obama-era laws to allow “expedited removals” of any undocumented immigrant who has been in the U.S. for less than two years anywhere within the U.S. “These policies are destructive to families,” said Bishop Dwayne Royster, political director of the PICO National Network, an interfaith organization that provides services to immigrants.
Peter Pedemonti, director of the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, an interfaith organization that advocates for undocumented immigrants, said there have been six ICE raids in Philadelphia in the last three weeks. “What we are hearing from some of our immigrant members is this is violent,” he said, referring to the new policy.
Some organizations lauded the new policies though. “Trump promised to take strong action against illegal immigration, and he is,” conservative activists John and Andy Schlafly, sons of the late Phyllis Schlafly, said in a statement. “We applaud these significant steps…”