As leaders of faith in Wyoming, we are well versed in our Scriptures that tell us of God’s love for the vulnerable, words that challenge us to think beyond nationality, ethnicity and religion when we extend love to our neighbors. We strive to spend our time and energy caring for those at risk in our neighborhoods and small communities while guiding others to do likewise.
We know we are stronger and healthier when justice and compassion are shown to all people, and we also know how all suffer when our most defenseless neighbors are targeted. For these reasons of faith, for reasons of morality and justice, we strongly oppose the idea of an immigration prison in Wyoming.
We are building our future as Wyomingites with an eye to the past, recognizing our previous complicity when the federal government came into Wyoming and imprisoned Japanese immigrants and American citizens during World War II. In that time, the federal government called the concentration camp the “Heart Mountain Relocation Center” in attempt to disguise its true injustices.
Now, we face MTC, a private company, attempting to come into our community and this time earn money by again disguising injustices under the term “immigrant detention facility.” As faith leaders, we reject this doublespeak. We reject MTC's assertion that a prison of this nature “must be built somewhere,” first by refusing private prisons for Wyoming, and then by acknowledging that we deserve better, fairer immigration laws that do not necessitate the use of private prisons on the most vulnerable members of our small communities.
In hard economic times such as these, we are called to think deeply about our values. We know we are a strong, independent people of courage, faith and fairness. We are perseverant, thoughtful and hospitable. As Wyomingites and as faith leaders, we know some things are not for sale.
For these reasons, we stand united in saying no to the proposed immigration prison in Uinta County.