Monday, August 12th the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) issued the statement, copied below, concerning the administration’s new immigration policy. The Valley Interfaith Council, an affiliate of VICPP, endorses the statement.

Since the release of this statement, Ken Cuccinelli, acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director, stated that Emma Lazarus’s famous sonnet at the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty applied to European immigrants. It is hard to imagine Lazarus intended to exclude immigrants from other continents, especially as she writes earlier in that same sonnet “from her beacon-hand, Glows world-wide welcome.” We affirm this world-wide welcome and the compassion reflected in the sonnet, not narrow and hard-hearted interpretation reflected in this policy. The VICPP statement follows:

“’The rich may struggle to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but they’ll have an easier time getting into the United States, based on the Trump Administration’s new policy for ‘Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,’ says Kim Bobo, Executive Director of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, which opposes the proposed policy. Bobo calls the policy ‘inhumane.’

The new ‘public charge’ policy, which appeared this week on the Federal Register’s website, was proposed months ago for public comment and the comments were overwhelmingly in opposition. Nonetheless, the Trump Administration has moved forward with the proposal as part of its anti-immigrant program.

The 837-page document contains a lot of information, but essentially it allows the Department of Homeland Security to deny legal entry to immigrants whom it thinks could become a ‘public charge,’ meaning they might need food stamps, housing assistance or other public services to survive or to deny citizenship to those who are legal and trying to get citizenship if they have used public services.

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy condemns this new policy. The famous Statue of Liberty statement, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” is no longer our policy. “This policy change undermines the core values of the United States and all our faith traditions,” says Ms. Julie Swanson, board president of the Virginia Interfaith Center.

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy invites congregations and individuals wishing to “welcome the immigrant to join with the organization to help register people to vote, advocate just immigration policies and stand with immigrants in their communities.”

Signed: The Valley Interfaith Council Steering Committee

John D. Copenhaver Jr. is professor emeritus of religion and philosophy at Shenandoah University. He resides in Winchester.

(9) comments


Take care of USA citizens first. Our medicaid and social security system cannot handle this. If one is so worried about this policy, how many illegal immigrants are you willing to take in or sponsir, pay their housing, feed, clothe, pay for medical and dental care. If this policy is wrong you take care of them until they learn english and xan be productive legal citizens of this country. Its sad illegal immigrants who have been here many years still cannot speak english and are still a burden to our system. Do yhey really want to assimilate in our country? I think not


Have we forgotten that there are employers who willingly hire illegal immigrants so they can pay slave labor wages? Why are they not punished for their practice of illegal hiring. If you get slave labor wages, of course, you are going to need help with food, etc.

Spock Here

Yes it is really strange that the wealthy CEOs of these huge companies never get more than a slap on the wrist. And funny how ICEalways get these people at work, where they are trying not to be "a burden on society" But then, since they are "stealing" chicken processing jobs from Americans, they deserve it.


I believe the company's that knowingly hire illegal immigrants should be punished by more than a slap on the wrist. This is wrong they criminals taking advantage of slave labor. With new proposals when they came over legally they would have a skill to be productive member of siciety. If this happens, these slave companies will feel the difference

Spock Here

Babbling fox news lies and stereotypes is revolting. Let's see some sources for that disgusting tirade


Not babbling fox news I've asked you before for the number you will take in and support and no numbers are ever given, just your babbling.


If we tighten, or better yet, enforce workplace restrictions on employers of illegal immigrants successfully, many will return home on their own. Temporary support and healthcare only if needed as we help them home and provide information about our LEGAL immigration process, which is already extremely fair.


We already take care of citizens first. Just look at the $16 billion in welfare payments to American farmers, taken from American pocketbooks, to pay for the consequences of Trump's hair brained trade war.


Perhaps Republicans could repay the $1.3 Trillion Bush borrowed from Social Security to pay for his wars?

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