‘$2 Billion to Detain Immigrants? Not a Good Move’ — Rev. Lauma Zusevics Writes at The Capital Times

Christmas Day is fast approaching, and I want to wish you and your loved ones a restful and joyful week.

Here in Baltimore, the intent was to take a break from this blog until the New Year. But good news needs often can’t wait. So I’d like to share a wonderful op-ed about immigration reform and alternatives to detention, one that mentions LIRS’s Unlocking Liberty report.

The piece is by Rev. Lauma Zusevics, pastor of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Holy Trinity Church in Milwaukee and president of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. After participating in the LIRS-hosted Lutheran Immigrations Leadership Summit in the Twin Cities this summer, she wrote the following op-ed, “$2 Billion to Detain Immigrants? Not a Good Move.” Her piece ran yesterday in The Capital Times, and begins:

In the wake of Election Day, “immigration reform” has been on the lips of our political leaders, Republicans and Democrats alike. Hearing such talk makes me wish those officials could share the experiences I’ve had, so that those reforms are based on reality rather than wishful thinking.

Whether your family arrived in America by disembarking before there was a country, or by dutifully waiting in line to immigrate, we can all agree that as Americans we have certain responsibilities. We have a moral obligation to refrain from treating illegal immigrants with undue harshness, and as a nation respected for its rule of law, we have a responsibility to provide detained immigrants with a baseline of access to services and legal counsel to ensure that people can extricate themselves from unjust accusations.

What first comes to mind, then, is a mother in tears who recently opened my eyes to how badly our broken immigration system treats illegal migrants, and how urgently that system needs reform.

 We’re grateful to Rev. Zusevics for her leadership, and for writing such a powerful piece! Please check out the rest — and if you feel so moved, Recommend on Facebook and tweet — by clicking here.

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