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Phoenix-area clergy urge Donald Trump not to pursue mass deportation

(Twitter Photo/@MikeSackley)

PHOENIX — Leaders of multiple faiths gathered at the Arizona State Capitol Friday morning to encourage President-elect Donald Trump to pursue common-sense immigration reform.

They urged him not to engage in practices of mass deportation when it comes to illegal immigrants in the United States. The clergy gathered were also critical of Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border.

“We will not build these higher walls, we will tear down these walls,” Rabbi Shumly Yanklowitz with Arizona Jews for Justice said. “We will not allow the terrorizing of these immigrant populations.”

Last weekend, Trump told “60 Minutes” that he plans to deport millions of illegal immigrants once he is inaugurated.

The press conference came a few days after U.S. Catholic bishops urged the president-elect to pursue humane immigration policies.

Phoenix-area clergy also called on Trump to denounce racism.

“We also call upon Mr. Trump to make good on his promises,” Reginald D. Walton, pastor of the Phillips Memorial CME Church in Phoenix, said. “He’s promised to be a bringer of change and we’re asking him to bring positive change.”

“The immigrant communities in our midst, who live among us as our neighbors, deserve love, not disdain,” said Warren Stewart, pastor at First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix. “The overwhelming majority of Americans, including people of faith, support common sense immigration reform for our immigrant brother and sisters.”

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