Immigration Justice at UUMAN
The pandemic has relegated continuing social justice challenges to the background. Unitarian Universalists, however, remain committed to raising our voices to bring awareness of our brothers and sisters in distress.
In March 2022 a group of UUs gathered outside the ICE detention center in Folkston, south Georgia, to protest the expansion of this center. Plans include growing it from 700 to over 3,000 (read the article in the AJC here) beds.
If approved by the Biden administration, this center would be the largest of its kind in the US. But we are not alone, and we protested along fifty others, representing more than fifteen different immigrant justice organizations. As a result, Susan Frederick-Gray, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association of churches, released a congratulatory video to encourage continued work on this issue.
At the end of March Georgia UU ministers and citizens joined national UU activists in a virtual meeting with staffers for Senator Jon Ossoff. At our meeting, we gave testimonials and requested that the Senator take a public position in relation to the extension of Title 42 (expired at the end of March) and on the expansion of Folkston, a for-profit center run by Geo Group. Staff were very receptive of our position and remained open to further discussions. A few days later, the administration vowed to end Title 42 in late May (read TIME magazine article here).
The latest events show that acting locally can influence actions as far away as Washington, D.C. Margaret Meade once said, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Let’s get to work. We are, after all, in the business of changing the world.