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Rabbis: Baltimore ICE raids are counter-productive

Rabbis: Baltimore ICE raids are counter-productive
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officers arrest an undocumented Mexican immigrant during a raid in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn on April 11, 2018 in New York City. New York is considered a "sanctuary city" for undocumented immigrants, and ICE receives little or no cooperation from local law enforcement. ICE said that officers arrested 225 people for violation of immigration laws during the 6-day operation, the largest in New York City in recent years. (John Moore/Getty Images)

We are writing to speak out against the mass deportation raids reportedly scheduled to begin in Baltimore on Sunday ("Delayed immigration raids expected to start this weekend in 10 major cities, sources say,” July 11). Judaism teaches us to love and welcome the stranger — a refrain repeated in the Torah 36 times, more than any other commandment.

Of course, the immigrants in Baltimore who will be targeted in these raids are not strangers. They’re our neighbors. They’re among our colleagues. They’re even our friends. These raids will sow fear in our community and push people into the shadows. Worse, by arresting the undocumented parents of children born in the United States, the raids risk expanding the administration’s family separation policy from the southern border into Maryland.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement should cancel these raids and local law enforcement should refuse to help ICE enforce civil, non-criminal immigration violations.

Rabbi Andrew Busch and Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen, Baltimore

The writers are rabbis at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

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