Arizona, Not in My Backyard
The message below went out to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. Sign-up for these emails here.
Immigration in the United States isn’t about what happens on Capitol Hill, it is about my neighborhood.
Not long ago, the Virginia county in which I serve as minister, enacted among this country’s strongest mandates for local enforcement of federal immigration law. County law enforcement officials were deputized to check the immigration status of any citizen, just like in Arizona.
In a short time, my neighbors began to fear one another and the police. Children living on the same block with different national origins started to wonder if they should even play together. Law enforcement officers feared that they would be rendered incapable of doing their jobs underneath the additional burden.
I know that local enforcement of federal immigration law tears communities apart. I have seen it with my own eyes, and both my neighbors and I are still afraid.
But change is possible.
Neighbors and law enforcement officers spoke out and our local mandate was challenged in court. In the end, the mandate was moderated in compliance with federal law. Now, our community is slowly healing.
Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd
Bull Run Unitarian Universalists