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June 11, 2010

Beloved Colleagues:

At our meeting of June 3rd, the UUMA Executive Committee unanimously endorsed the following resolution:

WHEREAS a primary purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers’ Association (UUMA) is to support and promote the Unitarian Universalist movement; and

WHEREAS Unitarian Universalism holds as one of its highest values the worth and dignity of each human being, and this value in turn carries the imperative that we speak out and take action against those policies, laws or institutions which degrade or oppress human beings; and

WHEREAS Arizona’s 2010 immigration bill, SB1070, designed to identify, prosecute and deport undocumented immigrants, will criminalize the failure to carry documentation and will empower police to demand such documentation at will; and

WHEREAS these provisions of SB1070 will encourage racial profiling and invite harassment and discrimination against Latinos regardless of their citizenship status;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the UUMA condemns passage of SB1070 in Arizona and urges its members to work for repeal of the law, to resist passage of similar laws in other states, and to advocate for a new federal immigration bill that will respect the dignity and rights of all and will provide a fair, safe avenue to documented status for law abiding immigrants.

The Exec is well aware of the UUA Board resolution proposing that we move the 2012 General Assembly as a protest against Arizona SB 1070. We have read Peter Morales' recent letter with invitations from two Arizona justice groups to stand with them, and Peter’s thoughts about the opportunity going to Phoenix provides. We have received a number of Chapter resolutions and other communications regarding the situation. Some support the boycott. Others, including a unanimous resolution from our colleagues on the ground in Arizona, ask that we oppose the Board resolution and make GA 2012 an act of witness and solidarity. Click here to read these letters and resolutions.

We have set aside time on a demanding annual meeting agenda to allow for brief presentations from those most involved. We encourage our members to inform themselves fully on the issues involved and to participate in the plenary debate on the floor of the General Assembly. The UUMA is under no contractual obligation in regard to Ministry Days 2012. We suggest that little or nothing would be gained by forcing our membership to either support or to reject the UUA board resolution at this time. The situation in Arizona is very much in flux. We need to do more than simply wait and see. But rather than argue among ourselves the Exec suggests that we focus our efforts on overturning the bill and helping to keep this misguided anti-immigrant effort from taking hold in other states or provinces.

In hope of peace and justice,

Rob Eller-Isaacs for the UUMA Exec

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