Pagan responses to zero-tolerance immigration policies

TWH — The current White House policy of zero tolerance for immigrants and asylum seekers has resulted in forced separation of families, and now a modified policy is resulting in the indefinite incarceration of families. Many people, including Pagans, have publicly opposed these positions. The Wild Hunt has collected statements by Pagan groups and individuals, which show how Pagan values and virtues can inform current political discussion. Pagans, however, are not a monolithic group, and cannot even agree on a definition of Paganism. These statements are neither representative of all Pagans, nor are they meant to be.

Column: Sessions Thumps, Clergy Jumps

The executive branch of the federal government of the United States has gone biblical. On June 14, Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible while responding to criticism of his April 6 announcement of a “zero-tolerance policy” for “illegal entry into the United States by an alien” and his May 7 statements that the Department of Justice would work with the Department of Homeland Security to take children away from anyone “smuggling” them into the country. The Attorney General’s comments were made one day after Catholic Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston released a public statement denouncing Sessions’ decisions on family separation. After drawing connections between giving aid to asylum seekers, preserving the right to life, and protecting female victims of domestic violence, Cardinal DiNardo addressed the issue of young children:
Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB’s [United States Conference of Catholic Bishops] Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration’s zero tolerance policy. Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma.

Breaking bread as ritual to heal rifts

WOLVERHAMPTON, England –The political fight over whether the United Kingdom should remain part of the European Union or not was bruising to people on both sides, a situation which has been echoed in other world events such as last year’s presidential election in the United States. One British Quaker has found what she feels is an important reminder of the common ancestry humans share, and she’d like Witches and other Pagans to join her in expressing that bond: the power of bread. Rachel Arnold “discovered Paganism and the power of Witches,” she recalls, “while recovering from a traumatic experience in the Remain campaign.” It was during that healing process that she hit upon bread as a common thread for all humanity, and began to express that understanding through painting and poetry. From there she decided that breaking bread should be a movement, one in which people share that common history in spontaneous gatherings.

Column: I Am the Son of a Refugee

Today we are faced less with a crisis of immigration than a crisis for immigrants. The Trump administration continues to aggressively ramp up its war on undocumented immigrants, as it seeks to expand the federal government’s ability to use police as man hunters and to build new detention facilities. Refugees have been repeatedly scapegoated as terrorists as the president and his allies seek to block them from finding asylum in the United States. Shortly after the election, a Trump surrogate cited America’s Japanese-American internment camps during World War II as precedent for a national registry of Muslim immigrants. At the end of January, President Trump signed an executive order aiming to build more detention centers for arrested immigrants whose deportation is pending.