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350 California Faith Leaders Sign a Letter to Judge Chhabria: “Life and Death for the Incarcerated”

Judges in this pandemic are arbiters of life and death for those incarcerated and in detention. As we collectively face this pandemic, everyone has the right to live.

Dear Judge Chhabria,

Three hundred thirty faith leaders and organizations across California have signed the following letter.

On behalf of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4HI), its member congregations, and other organizations and persons that seek the welfare of persons detained by ICE, thank you for issuing the Temporary Restraining Order … and for authorizing the release of detained persons impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As members of the faith community, we implore you to do more to save lives.

We believe that everyone is capable of redemption, change and transformation, that past convictions do not define who a person is now and can become, and that immigration detention while a person’s immigration case is adjudicated is an unnecessary form of incarceration. We believe that everyone’s life is precious and request that you expedite the process and broaden the criteria for suitability for release…

This letter is signed by:

  • 45 Endorsers. These organizations include denominations, religious networks, conferences and non-profit organizations.
  • 330 Faith Leaders and Organizations. These signatures include Rabbis, Imams, Reverends, Priests, Sisters, Ministry Leaders, Buddhists, Pastors, and many others.
  • 62 Cities Across California. These signatures come from all over California. From the Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Central Valley, Los Angeles, and cities outside of California!

We prayerfully urge you to uphold human rights and consider the following when examining cases:

  • Immigration detention during the pandemic continues to threaten life and health.
  • Accelerating the release of detained people continues to be urgent.
  • Releasing people from detention has a positive impact for families directly impacted, as illustrated in the stories shared in the enclosed letter.
  • The faith community is prepared to support persons released from detention.