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Top evangelicals urge release of some detainees during virus

NEW YORK (AP) – Nine leaders at evangelical Christian organizations are urging the Trump administration to launch folks from immigration detention amenities “who do not pose a threat to public safety” throughout the coronavirus pandemic, significantly those that are aged or in any other case at increased threat for contracting COVID-19.

In a letter despatched Monday to Chad Wolf, appearing secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the evangelicals referred to as for alliances with non secular and different native teams to assist discover launched detainees “safe accommodations in which to ‘shelter in place’ for as long as such practices are advised.” Such actions to assist social distancing in detention, the religion leaders wrote, would assist workers in addition to detained migrants.

“Our concern is rooted in our Christian belief that each human life is made in the image of God and thus precious, and, like you, we want to do everything possible to minimize the loss of life as a result of this pandemic,” the distinguished evangelicals wrote.

The evangelicals signing the letter mentioned they might “encourage the many churches and ministries within our networks to provide any assistance they can” to assist launched detainees shelter safely.

Shared with The Associated Press upfront of its public launch, the letter was signed by Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Walter Kim, president of the National Association of Evangelicals; and Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council, amongst others.

Rodriguez delivered a prayer at President Donald Trump’s inauguration and has suggested Trump on immigration, however has beforehand criticized some parts of the administration’s immigration coverage.

The evangelical letter despatched Monday shouldn’t be the primary public name for the administration to launch low-risk people from immigration detention. Immigrant advocates have filed lawsuits geared toward securing the discharge of detainees throughout the peak of the pandemic, significantly older or high-risk people.

ICE reported 32 confirmed instances of coronavirus amongst detainees at its amenities as of final week, and has mentioned 11 staff working at detention amenities have examined optimistic for the virus.


Associated Press faith protection receives assist from the Lilly Endowment by way of the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely chargeable for this content material.


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