Media roundup: As government targeting of immigrants intensifies, so too does UU support

Media roundup: As government targeting of immigrants intensifies, so too does UU support

A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.

Rachel Walden


When U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed its largest workplace immigration raid in over a decade at a slaughterhouse in eastern Tennessee last week, they rounded up nearly 100 people, separating families and striking fear in communities across the region. Members of Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville held one of several vigils to show support for all people in their community. "What we're seeing is a very painful reckoning because our elected leaders have kicked the can down the road and postponed action on immigration reform. Now we have mothers and fathers separated from their children and spouses separated from each other, and this was completely avoidable," observed the Rev. Chris Buice. ( - 4.9.18)

The Unitarian Society of Northampton, Massachusetts, offered Irida Kakhtiranova a safe space to live while she and her family fight her recent deportation order from ICE. Despite being put into a very stressful situation, Kakhtiranova said of her experience, “This congregation is comprised of some of the most genuinely kind people I've ever met. My first night here I slept better than I have in a long while, feeling that I was finally safe from daily fear of deportation.” ( - 4.10.18)

More coverage:

“‘It’s like a prison’: Immigrant mother describes weeks-long hideout inside New York church to avoid deportation” ( - 4.7.18)

“First Unitarian Church of Providence seeking donations to build Sanctuary Church space” ( Uprise RI - 4.12.18)

With an eye on elections, UUs hold forums on gun violence

The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, New Jersey, participated in the nationwide “Town Hall for Our Lives” action following last month’s “March for Our Lives.” Local representatives attended and expressed their support for advocating for responsible gun safety measures. Many of the speakers expressed their appreciation for the youth who are driving this renewed push for legislation, saying that they had lost hope for making progress on gun safety until now. ( - 4.7.18)

Nearly 200 people gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington, North Carolina, to hear from their local representatives about what they are doing to combat gun violence. Local legislators, county commissioners, and school board members attended and offered guidance and support for youth leaders at the event, committing to push the issues as long as the community remained “unyielding” on the topic. ( - 4.8.18)

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, South Carolina, also held a March for Our Lives town hall, which was attended by Democratic candidates seeking seats in Congress. Youth and adults from across the region brought questions and concerns and both nominees pledged to carry their concerns forward if they are elected. ( - 4.8.18)