These remarks were delivered by Ohio RCRC's Executive Director Elaina Ramsey, who joined Faith in Public Life and other women faith leaders in speaking out against family separation. Watch the video below or read her speech on why immigrant justice is reproductive justice. 

As a Christian and the Executive Director of the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, I stand here today to witness against family separation and to declare that I am pro-faith, pro-family, pro-choice.

Because let’s be clear: There’s absolutely nothing pro-life or pro-family about the Trump Administration tearing nursing infants away from their mother’s breast or locking children away in cages.

It is a basic human right for one to decide if, when, and how to start a family — and to raise them in a safe and healthy environment. But Trump’s zero-tolerance policy is unjust, immoral, and nothing short of reproductive violence. And we will NOT remain silent while families are separated, detained, and imprisoned.

I don’t know about you, but the God I serve would never treat mothers, fathers, and children this way. Scripture teaches me to follow a God and a gospel without borders — to welcome the stranger with dignity, compassion, and respect.

As a first-generation immigrant, I cling to this promise because I know all too well what it’s like to not be welcome. To not be seen. To not be regarded as “American” enough. To simply not be white enough. Because if we’re honest, we know this zero-tolerance policy explicitly targets black and brown bodies and families like mine.

Over 30 years ago, my mom left her homeland to seek a better life for our family. For three decades, she maintained her green card until last year when she urgently decided to give up her Filipino citizenship to become a U.S. naturalized citizen. She feared what every immigrant fears — deportation and separation from loved ones.

So you better believe we will continue to fight like holy hell for reproductive justice and to keep families together. From the sanctuaries to the streets, we will not rest until families are reunited.

To President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, we urge you to hear our cries and to end this heartless zero-tolerance policy.

DO the right thing and reunite children with their parents.

DRAW upon your faith, conscience, and goodwill to end this cruel practice of family separation.

And may you strive to be pro-life and pro-family enough to offer compassion, not condemnation, toward all those seeking asylum and refuge.

Hear us when we say: KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER. In the name of all that is just and holy, nothing less will do.

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