A message for immigration officials of moral courage, by The Rev. Kaji Douša
On January 2nd of this year, as I was crossing the border to come back into the country where I was born, I was detained by customs and border control for several hours, where officers of the most intense organization of the Department of Homeland Security interrogated me about the humanitarian work that I and other organizations – including the New Sanctuary Coalition – have done to support migrants. As a result of this work, I have learned that I have had a flag placed on my passport, and I may even have limited access to travel to other countries. In this escalation of what I see to be intimidation, I am grateful to someone who broke the story, and shared this – someone from within Homeland Security who knew that this was wrong. And what I do now, is I call on everyone else of moral courage who is within a position, anywhere within any of these organizations, to speak up, to speak out, to find confidential ways to be able to reach out to people. We are in a moral crisis when clergy are targeted for praying for people. And anyone who cares about what we call religious freedom should be outraged and should be calling their congress people to exercise their oversight so that churches can continue to pray for people and to offer them love and support. And to everyone who works in places where you are asked to do something that is immoral, I say it’s okay to turn back. This is lent. Now is the time. Now is the time for a change of heart. And you can stop this, that is in your power. You don’t want to take these sins to your grave. But turn back now, just like this brave person did. Thank you to whoever that was, I hope you’re seeing this message.