AUGUSTA – Today, a call for unity. Clergy members of all faiths standing in solidarity with immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
“Maine is a better place because of our immigrant neighbors,” said Pastor Allen Ewing-Merrill of Hope Gateway United Methodist Church in Portland. “We need them here, we are all children of God and will continue to stand with them in the future.”
Nearly 200 multi faith clergy signed the ‘Statement of Solidarity and Support for Immigrants’. These clergy represented every county in Maine.
“This is an issue that so many clergy feel connected around,” said Rev. Christina Sillari of First Parish Portland, “because we all have relationships with immigrants in Maine.”
In the Hall of Flags, they invited others who support their position to sign as well. Their statement comes during a time in our country when they say the national narrative instills fear in immigrants.
“I think the administration in Washington is doing a lot to both oppress our immigrant friends and neighbors in their policies and in their taking away of funds,” Sillari said.
They’re also urging lawmakers here in Maine to secure funding for programs like general assistance for asylum seekers amidst budget debates.
“A budget is not just about dollars and cents,” said Ewing-Merrill. “A budget is a moral document and it lays out who we are and who we want to be as a people.”