The Alliance of Baptists was among 80 national and local faith-based organizations joining in a letter April 24 urging Congress to refuse to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border proposed by President Donald Trump.
With Congress facing an April 28 deadline to pass a spending bill to keep the government open, the faith groups called the estimated $21 billion project “an ineffective and immoral use of public funds” that would not deter migration but harm the environment and people in border communities.
The letter said President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order authorizing “immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking and acts of terrorism” would force migrants and traffickers to take more dangerous routes and further militarize the border region.
Other groups signing the letter included Faith in Public Life, National Council of Churches, Sojourners and Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ.
“Our faith communities have ministries and relationships deeply rooted in border communities,” the faith groups said. “We have witnessed how current border enforcement policies have torn families and communities apart, contributed to the deaths of thousands of migrants, harmed wildlife and border ecosystems and violated the rights and humanity of U.S. citizens and immigrants alike.”
The letter called on members of Congress to “stand against any funding for a border wall” and reorient homeland security strategies “toward more sensible and humane solutions that benefit and are informed by border communities.”
The Alliance of Baptists is scheduled to consider a statement this week at the group’s 30th anniversary annual gathering in Raleigh, N.C., opposing both the border wall and another Trump order barring the resettlement of Syrian refugees and banning immigration from six Muslim-majority nations facing its second challenge in a federal court of appeals.