For Religious Leaders at the Border: Leaders Of Various Religions Protested At The US-Mexico For Better Treatment Of Migrants

As the controversy over border security continues, thousands of refugees continue to seek asylum with the U.S. and are currently living in tents in Tijuana. Religious leaders took to the southern border this week to protest the way the U.S. government has been treating migrants. Many are legally seeking asylum, which includes arriving at the border as the first step.

To commemorate International Day of Human Rights, more than 300 people, made up of religious leaders, gathered to protest the injustices against Central American refugees.


According to one of the groups — Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice, based in Oregon, — their reasoning behind their protest was in “solidarity with the thousands of Central Americans who seek asylum, safety, and refuge on the shores of the US.”

“We processed along the beach, in silence, the rhythmic crash of waves alongside us and the roar of helicopters overhead,” they stated. “Nearing the border wall, the wind carried our songs, an offering, to our kin standing on the other side, waving at us and witnessing from across the fence.”

Border agents arrested 32 protesters because they wouldn’t back away from “an enforcement zone.”


Border Patrol spokesman Eduardo Olmos told Time magazine that some were “arrested on suspicion of trespassing by the Federal Protective Service” while another one was “arrested by the Border Patrol for assaulting an agent.”

Here are more powerful scenes from the demonstration.

The gathering was organized by The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

“As a Quaker who believes in our shared humanity … We’re calling on the U.S. to respect the rights of migrants,” Joyce Ajlouny of the AFSC said.

“We keep being told that we need to make a choice between violence and decency. That we have to make a choice between upholding dignity or upholding the power structures that continue to oppress people here and all around the world while touting this title of ‘the freest nation in the world,” Imam Omar Suleiman said at the press conference.

The group is now calling for the release of those who were arrested.

“We can do better. Our sacred texts tell us to tear down walls, to welcome the immigrant and to treat everyone as if they are God’s children,” Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis told NBC News.

READ: A Church Community In North Carolina Blocked ICE From Taking An Undocumented Father, 27 Of Them Were Arrested

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