Dear Office of the Attorney General, governors, mayors and city councils of “sanctuary” cities,

We the undersigned — representing people of conscience and goodwill and belonging to various faiths and peace and justice organizations — call on you to condemn the governors of Texas and Florida for sending migrants across state lines without permission, knowledge, or consent. The acts that Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott took were morally repugnant. We ask you to do whatever is necessary, legally and otherwise, to hold DeSantis, Abbott and any other lawmakers taking similar actions accountable for kidnapping, “unlawful restraint,” human trafficking, and dereliction of duty.

It is a measure of how degraded our politics and our democracy have become when vulnerable human beings are used as political props and our sense of collective public outrage barely registers. 

Since April, the Republican Governors of Florida, Texas and Arizona have bused or flown thousands of migrants to Washington DC, New York and Massachusetts in high-profile stunts designed to put pressure on the Biden administration’s border policies.  This isn’t simply political theater during an election cycle. It is the type of casual cruelty and humiliation found in the basest reality television competitions. The most vulnerable among us are being used as unwilling pawns in a disgusting political spectacle. 

Serving these arriving migrants coming into “sanctuary” cities, such as Washington, D.C., Faith communities, mutual aid groups, peace and justice organizations, and people of conscience in “sanctuary” cities have risen to the occasion and served these migrants, offering the best of US values, while the states of Florida, Texas, and Arizona have done exactly the opposite. Their political theatrics have impacted negatively and unfairly those who are working to repair the wrong perpetuated by these states.

As Cornell law professor Michael Dorf points out, along with other possible violations of state and federal laws, Governor Ron DeSantis, by deceiving migrants – telling them he was flying them to Boston to waiting jobs and instead transporting them to Martha’s Vineyard – clearly violated Texas’s laws against “unlawful restraint.” 

As the poem on the based of the Statue of Liberty declares, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” Both DeSantis and Abbott claim to practice the Christian faith, yet fail either to ‘welcome the stranger,’ as is an obligation of all three Abrahamic faiths or the practice the lesson of Matthew 25:40 that declares, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

We respectfully ask that:

  • the Department of Justice investigate the governors of the states of Texas and Florida as to whether they have engaged or are engaging in kidnapping and/or human trafficking.
  • Governors, mayors, and city councils put pressure on the Justice Department to investigate any states that send migrants across state lines without permission, knowledge, or consent faith and commend and support the faith communities, mutual aid groups and others serving migrants. 

We the undersigned humbly ask that our request be considered and taken with the utmost urgency.  

Initiated by Faith Strategies and the Fellowship of Reconciliation – USA


Solidarity and Love

Sign our card (and write a personal message) of solidarity, love, and support to Temple Beth Israel in Macon GA in the wake of a vile anti-LGBTQ+ antisemitic attack on the congregation (details below).

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From By Judy Maltz June 26, 2023, Haaretz: \"A Reform synagogue in the southern U.S. state of Georgia hasn’t experienced an antisemitic incident in its nearly 165-year history – until this weekend, when it was one of two congregations targeted by a neo-Nazi hate group. “This is a congregation has been around since 1859,” said Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar, the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Israel in Macon, Georgia, in a phone conversation with Haaretz. “This is a small, sleepy town. We have lived through the Civil War, we have lived through the civil rights movement, and there has been no incident ever of antisemitism directed against the Jewish community here in all those tumultuous times.” On Friday morning, she said, members of the congregation living in the nearby city of Warner Robins found antisemitic flyers outside their homes. They had been distributed by an organization called the Goyim Defense League, a white supremacist hate group active mainly on social media. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the GDL’s main objective is “to cast aspersions on Jews and spread antisemitic myths and conspiracy theories.” Later in the day, 15 members of the hate group held a demonstration outside the synagogue, where they had hung a life-sized doll in effigy from a street sign, wrapped in a rainbow flag, with a kippa on its head. According to Bahar, at least one of the demonstrators was wearing a t-shirt with a Nazi insignia on it and another had an Israeli flag tied around his foot. Bahar noticed the group as she was pulling into her parking spot at the synagogue, where she was about to conduct her weekly Torah study class before the traditional Shabbat evening service. “At first, it didn’t register,” she said. “I mean, we have never had any problems before with antisemites. We are the second oldest synagogue in the state of Georgia, and nothing like this has ever happened in the past.” When she peered out the window of the synagogue at the demonstrators, she recounted, they responded with a Nazi salute and screamed “Heil Hitler.” Police arrived at the scene not long thereafter and arrested GDL leader Jon Minadeo II on charges of disorderly conduct and public disturbance after he continued shouting obscenities through a bullhorn despite being ordered to stop. He was released the following day. On Saturday, a group of about 150 residents of Macon gathered outside the Reform synagogue, and in a show of solidarity and support, they held hands and surrounded Temple Beth Israel. “It was an impromptu gathering,” recounted Bahar, who said she was deeply moved. “We did not organize it.” The GDL group showed up once again and tried to hold its own demonstration, which was soon broken up by police. From there, the group headed to the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, where it held another demonstration, brandishing Nazi flags, outside the local Chabad synagogue. This coming Sunday, Temple Beth Israel will be hosting an interfaith service for religious congregations in the area under the title of “Praying for Love and Unity.” “I know it sounds cheesy, but my goal is radical empathy, and this is to show that there are many many more people who support the Jewish community here and engage with us in a loving way than the very small group of people who have only anger and fear in their hearts.” The event, organized by Bahar, will be attended by municipal and state officials. Temple Beth Israel has a membership of 86 families, the rabbi said, “mostly grannies and grandpas, who make mean potlucks and amazing cookies, many of them fifth, sixth, seventh generation members of this congregation – one family even eighth.”
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Register now to attend FOR-USA’s next Gathering Voices conversation with Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler of, Director of Faith Strategies (co-initiator of this petition) and recently retired Senior Minister of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington D.C. next Tuesday, October 18 at 4:00 PM ET.

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