Interfaith Immigration Statement on Solidarity and Sanctuary
“Love the stranger as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:34)
As faith leaders and congregations of the Roaring Fork Valley, we stand together in affirming our solidarity with our immigrant congregants, neighbors and community members. Immigrants have always faced many challenges, and we recognize increased anxiety and fear among our immigrant sisters and brothers because of a recent rise in strong anti-immigrant sentiments and threats of mass deportations. We affirm our vigilance around the issues facing our immigrant neighbors. In solidarity with our immigrant families and other allies we are working to develop an action plan that includes:
We call on our counties, cities, towns and schools to support our immigrant families. We support local law enforcement and school officials in doing their jobs- protecting public safety and teaching our children- rather than detaining and deporting immigrants.
We are committed to working with a wide variety of community partners, from those who work with immigrant families to those who employ immigrants, so we can listen to and support our immigrant families as valuable members of our community. Examples of these community partners include: Access AfterSchool, Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen Community Foundation, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Family Resource Center of the Roaring Fork School District, Roaring Fork PreCollegiate, Smith Immigration, Summit 54, The Manaus Fund and Valley Settlement.
We are proud that the state of Colorado is one of the safest states for immigrants to settle in. In Colorado, immigrants are afforded the right to hold a driver’s license and go to college without regard to their legal status.
As representatives of religious institutions with unique resources and deep moral values, we will explore the creation of one or more sanctuaries here in the Roaring Fork Valley. We aim to do so in advance of any changes in federal law or ICE enforcement priorities so our immigrant families don’t have to live in a constant state of fear and uncertainty.
Father Bert Chilson- St. Stephen Catholic Church, Glenwood Springs
Rabbi David Segal- Aspen Jewish Congregation, Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley
Reverend Shawna Foster- Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist Church, Carbondale
Brad Walston, Pastor- Basalt/Thomasville and Carbondale Community United Methodist Churches
The Reverend E. Wendy Huber, Rector & The Vestry on behalf of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Glenwood Springs
John Bruna and Laura Bartels on behalf of Way of Compassion Dharma Center, Carbondale
Reverend Nicholas Vesey, Minister at Aspen Chapel
Father Rick Nakvasil, Pastor of St. Vincent (Basalt) and St. Mary of the Crown (Carbondale)