Letter to President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. in Support of Sanctuary Leaders

Dear President Joseph R. Biden Jr.,
We write to you as elected officials, former elected officials, candidates running to represent the American people, and national convention delegates, to express our support for sanctuary families currently living in houses of worship around the United States. We are extremely concerned about this particular issue, especially in the face of some of the cruelest retaliatory actions by the current administration.We, elected officials, former elected officials, candidates running to represent the American people, and national convention delegates, ask Joseph R. Biden Jr., to publicly stand with us in support of these brave people living in sanctuary. We ask President Biden to commit to 1) exercising favorable prosecutorial discretion to grant a stay of removal to each person living in sanctuary on your first day in office ; 2) within the first 100 days of your presidency, lifting the deportation orders against all people living in sanctuary; and 3) signing into law all private bills on behalf of people living in sanctuary that Congress sends to your desk.

Over the last four-and-a-half years, dozens of people around the country have taken refuge in houses of worship as their only option to be safe from deportation, and to keep their families intact. Some of these families have roots in the United States spanning more than two decades, some have U.S. citizen children, others arrived at the border seeking refuge and pleading for protection from unimaginable violence. Instead, they were met with an immigration system that threatens to send them back to countries where they will likely face harm and even death.

The Trump administration tried to turn sanctuary into an offensive word, but at its very core, sanctuary represents resilience and human dignity. Families living in sanctuary have been pleading for national policy solutions to this issue, which would have implications for thousands of people. Today, we join them in that call for a solution to their plight.

Sanctuary leaders have faced targeted retaliation from DHS in the past year. ICE has threatened to impose exorbitant fines, upwards of $497,999, as well as potential criminal prosecution. These targeted threats raise serious concerns for us, who believe in the right of people to seek refuge and to exercise their freedom of speech and religion. These are in fact, two of the most fundamental rights protected by our Constitution.

Those in Sanctuary have suffered enough. Their stories can be found here https://bit.ly/sanctuarystories. Their confinement has been long and the injustices they experience are ongoing. Your actions can bring them the relief they need and deserve. Now is the time to support and honor the brave fight and leadership of people living in sanctuary and their commitment to resist the retaliatory actions of the current administration. Be the one who honors political expression in support of immigrants’ rights in the United States and not the one who punishes immigrants for seeking liberty and justice.

*Please note that the letter has been updated to reflect that Joe Biden is now the U.S. President.


Aleda Gagarin, Candidate, City Council District 29, Kew Gardens, NY
Alex Jarrett, Northampton City Councilmember, Ward 5, Northampton, MA
Angela Romero, Utah House of Representatives representing District 26, Salt Lake City, UT
Brian S. King, Utah House of Representatives, House District 28, Salt Lake City, UT
Darcy DuMont, Town Councilor, District 5, Amherst, MA
David Berger, Mayor of the City of Lima, OH
Dawn Adams, Delegate, Virginia House of Delegates District 68, Richmond, Chesterfield, and Henrico, VA
Derek Lloyd Kitchen, Senator, Salt Lake City, UT
Eddie Rodriguez, Texas State Representative, District 51, TX
Elizabeth Weight, Utah State Representative, House District 31, West Valley City, Utah
Emmanuel V. Remy, Columbus City Councilmember, OH
Erin Mendenhall, Mayor, Salt Lake City, UT
Ghazala Hashmi, Virginia State Senator (10th Senatorial District), Midlothian, VA
Jabari Brisport, NY State Senator – Elect (District 25), Brooklyn, NY
Jack Patrick Lewis, State Representative, 7th Middlesex District, Framingham, MA
Jani Iwamoto, Utah State Senator, Assistant Minority Whip, Salt Lake City, UT
Jen Lopez, DNC Delegate, Salt Lake City, UT
Jennifer Dailey-Provost, Utah State House (District 24), Salt Lake City, UT
Jenny Wilson, Mayor, Salt Lake County, UT
Jeri Shepherd, DNC member-CO-automatic delegate 2020, Greeley, CO
Jo Comerford, Massachusetts State Senator, Northampton, MA
Joshua Michtom, Hartford City Councilmember, Hartford, CT
Judi Fonsh, Former School Committee Member, MA
Kael Weston, 2020 Democratic Candidate, Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, UT
Karen Foster, City Councilor, Ward 2, Northampton, MA
Kathryne B. Tovo, Council District 9, Austin, TX
Kendra Brooks, Councilmember At-Large, Philadelphia, PA
Leslie Pool, Council Member, District 7, Austin City Council, Austin, TX
Lindsay N. Sabadosa, State Representative, 1st Hampshire District, Northampton, MA
Luz Escamilla, Utah State Senator (District 1), UT
Lynn Griesemer, Amherst Town Council President and District 2 Councilor, MA
Mandi Jo Hanneke, Councilor-At-Large, Amherst, MA
Mark A Wheatley, State Representative, Murray, UT
Melquiades Gagarin, Former candidate for New York’s 6th Congressional District, Kew Gardens NY
Monica Ruiz, DNC Delegate. Pittsburgh, PA
Morgan Harper, Former Candidate for Ohio’s Third Congressional District, OH
Nan Whaley, Mayor of the City of Dayton, OH
Paige Ellis, Council Member District 8, Austin, TX
Patrice Arent, Utah State Representative – House (District 36), Millcreek, UT
Rachel Maiore, Northampton City Councilmember, Ward 7, Northampton, MA
Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Former Member, Utah House of Representatives, District 24, UT
Sena Magill, Vice Mayor-Charlottesville, VA
Wildaliz Bermúdez, Hartford City Councilmember, Hartford, CT

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