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Syed Jamal. Immigration. ICE.

Reverend Eleanor McCormick – February 11, 2018.

Sunday afternoon the KC Metro Immigration Alliance sponsored an event in Kansas City at All Souls Unitarian Univeralist Church, focusing on the plight of Syed Jamal and individuals who, like him, are in immigration crisis exacerbated by the policies of the Trump administration. Activists in the community came to speak to the family of Syed Jamal and over one hundred others who attended.

Reverend Eleanor McCormick, Associate Pastor, Plymouth Congregational Church (UCC), Lawrence, Kansas:

Reverend McCormick: Thank you to the KC Metro Immigration Alliance for organizing this event and for all of you joining us today both in person and online.

It is my belief that the legal perspective on Syed’s case matters. It is also my belief that the moral perspective matters. As a woman of faith I am here to speak out on Syed’s behalf, and on behalf of his three beautiful children […]. And also his beloved wife, Angela, and his devoted brothers, on behalf of the entire Jamal family.

I do so because the biblical command to protect immigrants is unambiguous. Because the radical rabbi from Nazareth, whom I have chosen to follow, Jesus himself, was an immigrant.

Because Jesus said, Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second that we must set alongside it. Love others as well as you love yourself. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Syed is a good neighbor. America needs more neighbors like Syed. And Syed deserves good neighbors to stand with him and to stand with his family today. In fact, all immigrants, neighbor or stranger, deserve good neighbors who are willing to lift up their voices, pick up their phones, take to the streets, and take their convictions to the ballot box.

My hope is that churches and houses of worship across theological spectrums will continue to come together with a loud clarion call to justice. Justice for Jesus in Phoenix. Justice for Audy in Ohio. Justice for Ravi in New York. Justice for Syed in Lawrence, Kansas. Justice for the names we do not know and the children we refuse to see. Justice for Dreamers from sea to sea.

For the media that are here with us today, thank you. My hope and my prayer is that you will help to tell the stories that are too often forgotten. The stories that can be a should be bipartisan.

Now, white people who are here today, and listening. Speaking to you as a white woman, my hope and prayer is that you will amplify the stories that are too often forgotten, using your unearned privilege to transform a broken system and to give back power to the least of these.

All people, my hope and prayer is that you will join me in a prayer for the leaders of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, that they might see the humanity of those they target. For today, Immigration Enforcement agents and our Immigration judges have discretion. And so, my personal prayer is that they will do the right thing and they will keep families together.

We know full well that Syed’s family was not the first to be torn apart. And we know that this family was not and will not be the last. For as of just yesterday anther Church of Christ congregation opened up its sanctuary to be a sanctuary in Phoenix, Arizona.

As an ordained woman in the United Church of Christ I have promised to stand with those who risk their personal well being because of actions taken in response to their moral convictions. I will continue to stand with you, Christians and non-Christians alike, as you risk personal well being to create a just world for all.



“Free Syed”


Immigration: Syed Ahmed Jamal and many other stories like his (February 11, 2018)

Immigration: Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) – Press Q and A – Kansas City – February 11, 2018 (February 12, 2018)

Immigration: Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) – Kansas City – February 11, 2018 (February 12, 2018)