Evangelical Elites Want Illegal Aliens Released Because of COVID-19

Several powerful evangelical elites have signed a document calling for the release of certain populations of illegal immigrants. They insist that keeping these illegals detained is a health risk, due to a lack of ability to social distance at ICE detention centers.

Said evangelicals include influential and powerful figures like Russell Moore – head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commision (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Scott Arbeiter – President of World Relief, Walter Kim – President of National Association of Evangelicals, as well as  several others.

All of these figures are a part of the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), the organization under which the document was formed.

The document states, in part:

…we are writing out of concern for the wellbeing of both staff and detainees in immigrant detention facilities where ICE holds individuals with a pending court hearing. Our concern is rooted in our Christian belief that each human life is made in the image of God…and…we want to do everything possible to minimize the loss of life.

Individuals who are held in detention facilities…are effectively unable to practice the “social distancing”…to limit the spread the COVID-19. While it may be necessary to continue detaining individuals who have been convicted of violent crimes and who may pose a threat to public safety…the majority of individuals detained in ICE detention facilities have not been convicted of any criminal offense, and many of those with criminal convictions are for minor, non-violent offenses.

In the interest of public health…we encourage you to utilize alternatives to detention for individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety. Detainees who are elderly or who may otherwise be uniquely vulnerable to the worst effects of COVID-19 are of particular concern.

The obvious problem with releasing these illegal immigrants is that they are a “flight risk.” If let go, what incentive does someone who came here illegally, and so is fearful of being deported, have to show up to court.

These evangelicals battle that reality by stating, “Alternatives to detention (ATD) have proven highly effective in…assuring proper tracking of immigrants.”

They link to their website, where they argue that 95% of immigrants in ATD programs show up for their final court date.

The problem is that those already in ATD programs are presumably allowed to be in those programs becuase they aren’t a flight risk. Meaning, illegals still in detention are very likely significantly more of a flight risk than those who have already been put in ATD programs.

Additionally, these illegal immigrants traveled into the country illegally. We are currently restricting travel within the country, supposedly for the purposes of keeping everyone safe.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that letting out those who are essentially being detained for illegal travel might be a bad idea.

If they have no concern for laws about traveling into our borders, they’re likely not going to be concerned about laws restricting travel within our borders.