T’ruah: As Jews, we know that immigration policy can be a matter of life or death
NEW YORK – After Chief Justice Roberts temporarily halted the end of Title 42 at the U.S. southern border, T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights organization representing over 2,300 rabbis and cantors nationwide, reiterated the harmful consequences of the policy.
In a statement, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, CEO of T’ruah, pointed to the need for ending the dangerous policy once and for all:
“Seeking asylum is a fundamental, protected human right. We have a moral obligation to welcome asylum seekers with a dignified, just, transparent, and timely system to gain legal entry into the United States. We are dismayed that last month’s district court ruling ending Title 42 wasn’t allowed to go through by Chief Justice Roberts, and equally horrified at recent congressional attempts to codify Title 42 permanently into legislation.
“Advocates around the country are ready to accept asylum seekers and refugees with open arms once Title 42 is terminated. Yet anti-immigration politicians and policy makers are fighting to keep this xenophobic policy in place by justifying their position with racist dog whistles. It’s time to leave Title 42 in the trash can, where it belongs, and restore asylum now.
“Just last week, T’ruah and HIAS sent 15 rabbis to our southern border to bear witness to the ugly mistreatment of asylum seekers and the dangers of letting Title 42 stand. They saw with their own eyes the injustice of an erratic and labyrinthian system that forces asylum seekers to pursue dangerous—and sometimes deadly—paths to safety.
“The Torah teaches the obligation to extend love and care to people from outside our home society: ‘You shall love this person as yourself, for you were gerim [foreigners] in the land of Egypt.’ (Leviticus 19:34).
“As Jews, we know that immigration policy can be a matter of life or death. Many of our own families fled danger to find refuge in the United States, and many of our family members died after this country’s borders were closed to them. We remain committed to being a loud moral voice advocating for a just and transparent system for asylum seekers to gain legal entry into the United States.”
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights mobilizes a network of more than 2,300 rabbis and cantors from all streams of Judaism that, together with the Jewish community, act on the Jewish imperative to respect and advance the human rights of all people. Grounded in Torah and our Jewish historical experience and guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we call upon Jews to assert Jewish values by raising our voices and taking concrete steps to protect and expand human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories.