Agudath Israel on Immigration Family Separation Policy: US Has “Moral Obligation” to “Exhibit Humanity and Compassion”

Agudath Israel of America expresses its very deep concern and disappointment over the recently adopted policy of separating the members of families who have entered the United States illegally. It is a practice that has caused, and will continue to cause, profound suffering and pain to both parents and children. We implore that the policy be immediately rescinded, and that affected families be reunited.

The problem of illegal immigration is a serious one, and we support reasonable efforts by the administration and legislature to effectively stem the flow of would-be immigrants who have not been accepted through the legal immigration system.

But the United States, a shining beacon of freedom in the world, must always exhibit humanity and compassion in its laws and policies. Seeking to enforce our statutes does not relieve us of this moral obligation. The extreme anguish, fear and trauma born of separating undocumented immigrant family members, which is particularly harmful to children, deeply offend our highest values. It is wrong and unjustifiable.

As Jews, we find this practice particularly loathsome. For millennia, Jews in the diaspora have suffered many forms of persecution, including — among the most tragic — the forced breakup of our families. It is a punishment that neither parents nor children should ever have to endure.

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  1. This is such liberal junk, I am deeply disappointed with the Aguda for falling for this liberal agenda without really thinking it through.

    A person illegally crosses the border. With children. They get arrested. They go to jail. Because they crossed the border ILLEGALLY. Out of compassion that our country has for the little children, they DON”T PUT THE KIDS IN JAIL, but care for them separately.

    Should we say that we cannot jail terrorists because that would seperate fathers from their dear children???

    Is this a new Trump phenomenon? How did the Obama administration deal when families crossed the border?? Adults were arrested and children were cared for. Same as now!

    Shameful to Aguda for falling for this liberal garbage.

  2. How dare the Agudah go against the “Da’as Torah” of haRav Hannity and HaRav Limbaugh? Don’t they know that everything, absolutely everything, that Trump does is above criticism?

  3. @n8. Do you know what hardships these people endured to get to the US borders? They are sacrificing everything to live a life where their family can be safe and life a peaceful life. That’s all the majority of these illegal immigrants want. And as a Jew who this “country of kindness” graciously allowed my grandfather in during WW 2, I find it surprising that this same country is separating parents from children. Perhaps, they can be sent back to their home country, but they should be together during the detention.

    • Totally agree. This is NOT who we are as Americans. Take a look at the Statue of Liberty. My father would take me on the ferry when we lived in New York and tell me about it’s history. His parents came over from Greece to Ellis Island. We all came from somewhere else.

  4. No chidush in this statement. Unless, of course, you care more about Trumpism than you care about being Rachmanim bnei Rachmanim, them you find it hard to understand why the Aguda would say this

    • Is it a crime to want to give your children a better life? Criminals absolutely should not be allowed across the border; and I believe should be sent “home” if they commit a crime here. That’s not what we’re talking about here. This situation is just so sad. If I was separated from my children, I don’t know what I would do.

  5. So Sad…Rachmanim also believe a murderer should not get killed or an animal should not be consumed?? The parents of the illegals are using their kids as human shields! Are we soon going to condemn Israel for the killing of innocent Palestinians? The Parents left a country on their own will And are using their kids as a way to get their immigration status approved! Sorry Agudah but your stance seems really misguided to say the least..

  6. This is obviously a controversial topic with strong arguments to be made on both sides (IMO). We have our own problems to work on, why are we creating bad will with the current administration when we need our relationship with them for the many issues we have. There are PLENTY of advocates fighting for the immigrants not to mention all the democrats. However if this was explained ( the FULL PICTURE) to the moetzes and they said we should, then I am mevatel daas to them.

  7. @n8, totally agree, this is illegal people we are talking about. but remember these people do the jobs noone wants to like pick our fruits and vegetables that machinery doesnt do. and we are left with berries and small fruit trees going moldy bec the farmers cant find workers to work for such a low pay. noone i know wants to do this work, for very many years the immigrants the illegals are thhe ones doing it. these prople also bring i crime. solution, if any of them do crime ship thhem back to their country.

  8. but yes im upset that a issue like this is being portrayed in the wrong light regarding trump. im not a fan of trump but hes doing nothing so alarming that liberals should bash him so badly. obama did the same, he prosecuted the illegals too and noone made such a huge deal. so lets put this where it belongs. shame on agudah to take sides like this.

  9. @askan: we are not talking about murderer, we are not talking about Palestenians using human shields as they go about their murderous actions. We are talking about people coming here illegaly. Yes it’s wrong, but it’s not exactly an earth shattering crime (if it would be, you would never hire a cleaning lady without verifying her immigration status, you will never shop in a store unless you know that all the people stocking the shelves are here legaly, even if it will cost you thousands of dollars a year), and it does not justify the child abuse that seperating children from their parents is.
    The ultimate question is what are your priorities. If your priority is to be erliche yid, amd the GOP is simply a means to help that (because they may stand up for our religous liberties, they will stand up for our brothers in Eretz Yisroel), then you will be willing to recognize when the Republicans are doing the wrong thing. On the other hand, if your priority is for the GOP to win (because you spend all day listening to tall radio), then you won’t be willing to accept any criticism of your party, because that is your primary loyalty.

  10. From the comments here, it is obvious that for some people, Trumpism has replaced Yiddishkeit. Yes, Trump has done great things, but our principles of right and wrong are not whatever Hannity and Rush decide is right and wrong.

  11. Pithy, unnecessary press release. Should have been published when this whole “recent policy” started with Bush. What’s the plan? Free criminals or unite everyone in jail. Random kids are smuggled and abused for adults to gain asylum and benefits. They’re trafficked, pawns, and like any other criminal’s kid, forsaken by the criminal. Tragic. But for more than two decades congress has done zero. Not an easy dilemma, for sure, but something surely could have been worked out in over twenty years of child abuse really caused by immigrants coming here to rip us off as we bribe them with taxpayer money for votes. Too little, too late.

  12. @chocolate. Your argument is very week. There are millions of Indian nationals, Philippinos, and people from various European and African countries that would love to work in America for minimum wage. But there’s a legal way to do it. Besides, if the government wouldn’t have so many hiring laws we can hire reponsible entry level workers and teenagers to do this work. But it’s very hard with all the laws on the books. For example an intern doesn’t mind doing medical tasks for the employer and the employer wouldn’t mind giving a small paycheck for that. But the govmnt won’t allow that because of minimum wage laws. So the employer doesn’t accept the intern. Nowadays, interns have to pay their colleges to get them an intern position to apply towards college credits. And the list goes on. There are many people who would happily do all jobs in this country if the govmnt would get out of the way!!

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