D031 HD Committee #08 Report #26

House of Deputies Committee 08 - Social Justice & United States Policy presents its Report #26 on Resolution D031 (Opposition to Detention and Surveillance of Immigrants and Asylum-Seekers) and moves:

Adopt Substitute

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,

That the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church advocate for a fundamental change to the way we process migrants, moving away from detention and other mechanisms that can support unjust immigration policies and envision a just society in which everyone, regardless of national origin, has basic human rights including livelihood, family unity, self-determination, and physical and emotional safety; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention of The Episcopal Church affirm 2009-B006 and 2018-A178 and deplore and specifically call for advocacy for policies that will end the U.S. government’s reliance on immigration detention to meet its policy goals, which is clearly at odds with human welfare and dignity, expensive for taxpayers, and ineffective in deterring immigration to the United States; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention also oppose the U.S. government’s increased use of electronic monitoring and surveillance of immigrants as “alternatives” to detention, that can intrude on their privacy and sense of personal security despite living outside detention facilities; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention direct the Office of Government Relations and urge all Episcopalians to advocate for our government to address these serious shortcomings in our treatment of the “strangers in our midst” by prioritizing policies that will help reduce and eventually eliminate the need for detention and surveillance for virtually all migrants and instead: 

  • Provide true community-based and community-supported alternatives to detention, including ones where individuals meet with non-profit workers during the duration of their cases in the immigration court system
  • Fund non-governmental non-profit organizations to deliver case management support based on individualized needs assessments, including the provision of clear information regarding participants’ rights and obligations with regard to immigration processing and the consequences of non-compliance
  • Include referrals to community-supported services, especially legal services that provide individuals with information about their legal proceedings while improving the Executive Office of Immigration Review’s adjudication of cases in the immigration court system
  • Treat asylum seekers and migrants with dignity, humanity, and respect, assuring that any restrictions and compliance obligations placed on participants are the least onerous possible