As clergy, we could quote passages from our holy scriptures, from the beliefs of our faiths on the importance of keeping families together and of the inclusion of all. We write to you, though, not just as clergy but as fathers, mothers, daughters and sons who know the sacredness and fragility of human relationship. We write as pastors who work hard to heal relationships between people and who see the damage wrought by separation. We have watched footage of the separation of parents from children at the borders of our country and say: This is wrong! We say to the current powers that be: You must repair the damage that you have done. Bring the parents together with the children who have been separated during the past months.

The decision of the Supreme Court is doing the same work of separation, out of our sight. Families waiting to reunite with parents or children will now wait in vain because they are from a country now excluded from entry into our country. We tell the people of those countries that this exclusion is not our will. We tell our Muslim brothers and sisters who are feeling targeted by this exclusion that they are worthy to live in this country. We acknowledge the racism at the heart of our country’s history of immigration and remember the Immigration Act of 1924, which created a national origins quota that limited the number of immigrants by country and excluded all immigrants from Asia. Many Asian families from that era were divided by an ocean. Hearts were broken. Lives were destroyed as they are being destroyed in and out of our sight on our southern borders and in our airports and embassies when visas are denied. May we learn from the mistakes of history and live the promise written by Emma Lazarus on the base of the sculpture that greeted immigrants arriving in New York by ship: Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to be free.

In hope,

The Rev. Patty Willis, South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society

The Rev. Russell Butler, Christ United Methodist Church

The Rev. Jerrod B. Lowry, pastor, Community of Grace PC (USA)

The Rev. Cindy Solomon-Klebba, Wasatch MCC

The Rev. Monica Dobbins, First Unitarian Church

The Rev. Tom Goldsmith, First Unitarian Church

The Rev. Monica Hall, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Ogden

The Rev. Steven A. Klemz, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church

The Rev. Mary S. Janda, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church

The Rev. Elizabeth McVicker, 1st and Centenary United Methodist Churches

The Rev. David Nichols, Mount Tabor Lutheran Church, ELCA

Anna Zumwalt, Zen priest

The Rev. Curtis L. Price, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City

The Rev. Fred Smullin, Pastor, Morgan Valley Christian Church

The Rev. Vinnetta Golphin-Wilkerson, Pastor, Granger Community Christian Church

The Rev. Thomas V. Abbott, Cottonwood Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

The Rev. Kurt C. Wiesner, St. Paul’s Episcopal SLC

The Rev. Charles Robinson, Rector, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Christopher Kakuyo Leibow, Sensei of The Salt Lake Buddhist Fellowship

The Rev. Catherine Putnam-Netto

The Rev. Trace Browning, All Saints Episcopal Church

The Rev. A. Fred Evenson, Holladay United Church of Christ

The Rev. J.K. Hirano, Salt Lake, Ogden, Honeyville and Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temples

The Rev. Blair White, Community of Christ, Salt Lake City

The Rev. Diana P. Johnson, retired, Episcopal Diocese of Utah

Marsha Pilgeram, United Religions Initiative, Utah

The Rev. Clare Julian Carbone, Hospice Chaplain

Alan Bachman, Rabbinical Student

The Rev. Diane Musho Hamilton, Sensei

The Rev. Michael Mugaku Zimmerman, Sensei, Two Arrows Zen, Salt Lake City and Torrey, Utah

The Rev. Elizabeth Hunter, the Cathedral Church of St. Mark