New York Jewish Groups, Synagogues Plan To Offer Protection To Immigrants During ICE Raids

A protest against ICE.
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A number of Jewish groups and synagogues in and around New York City are offering protection to immigrants at risk of being deported in raids from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that Donald Trump announced would be starting this week.

As Haaretz reported, New York’s Jewish community has mobilized to protect undocumented immigrants during the planned raids, which are targeting close to 2,000 people in several major American cities. The coalition has joined in with other houses of worship across the New York area to offer safe haven for undocumented immigrants and are part of a nationwide movement of Jewish groups speaking out against the treatment of immigrants.

A statement from the group T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, released a statement calling the raids “cruel, immoral, and inhumane” and said that they would welcome any undocumented immigrants in need of protection.

“They will tear apart families and communities, and heighten the climate of fear felt by targeted populations,” the statement read. “The United States should be a welcoming country for those escaping dangerous situations in other countries or who have spent years here building new lives. The raids serve no purpose other than to jail more immigrants and rile up President Donald Trump’s base.”

Across the United States, Jewish activists have risen up in protest of the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrants. In Chicago, hundreds of Jewish activists surrounded an ICE office and demanded the closure of detention camps, which many have compared to concentration camps. As Common Dreams noted, the protest was part of a nationwide campaign from Jewish advocacy groups to call for an end to immigrant detention centers.

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To many of those participating, there are parallels between the treatment of immigrants today and the treatment of Jewish people in Germany in the years leading up to World War II.

“We have a responsibility as a people whose history included these kinds of atrocities to identify the signs and prevent them from happening,” Alyssa Rubin, a Jewish activist from Boston organizers of the group Never Again Action, told HuffPost. “If you’ve ever said, ‘Never again,’ or if you’ve ever wondered what you would have done if you were alive during the Holocaust, this is the time.”

Many other groups have helped inform undocumented immigrants of their legal rights ahead of the planned ICE raids, pointing out that agents need a warrant signed by a judge in order to enter their homes and helping those being targeted learn how to contact legal representation.