Immigration

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By Lakka Benti, domestic policy intern In 2008, the Bush administration started a program called Secure Communities by which the fingerprints of someone booked into a local jail were shared with federal immigration databases to determine if the person was an undocumented immigrant. Immigration authorities could then request a “detainer” or “hold” be placed on…

Read more Sanctuary city policies make communities safer

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In the colossal entity that is the United States criminal justice system, an estimated 20% of prisons are private and for-profit. Private prisons provide an awful incentive to continue the sad trend of mass incarceration that the United States has had for decades. Contracts that federal and state governments have with private prisons usually stipulate…

Read more Private prisons continue to thrive

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An interfaith delegation of religious leaders traveled to Central America last month to study the root causes of migration. While in Honduras, they had a chance to visit with Pastor Max, a Mennonite pastor from Iowa City who was deported from the U.S. in March. One of the participants reflected on the visit: The adjustment…

Read more Visiting with Pastor Max

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The story of Iowa City pastor Max Villatoro captured hearts inside and outside the Mennonite Church this spring. Many were outraged when “Pastor Max,” as he became known, was picked up outside his home by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and later unjustly deported to Honduras, separating him from his four U.S. citizen…

Read more Father’s day without Dad

Children take part in a Sunday School class in a Brethren In Christ church in Honduras. .

By Tammy Alexander Recent headlines speak of a “European migration crisis” and a “U.S. border crisis.” Politicians declare that efforts to stop migration are “urgent”—an “emergency.” Putting the focus on the “burden” of wealthy countries, however, rather than on the needs of refugees, negates the responsibility we have to offer a helping hand to those…

Read more The shameful practice of family detention