The incident Sept. 27 involving the taking into custody of seven men seated in La Purisima Catholic Church during the celebration of the 6:30 a.m. Mass highlights once again the intrusive nature of community raids by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Homes as well as churches will always be at risk whenever the INS chooses to disrupt the life of an immigrant community by its callous sweeps.
What these institutions must endure while the INS pursues its objectives is unconscionable and increasingly intolerable, particularly for the community of El Modena. There is no guarantee (that the INS) can protect churches and family dwellings against these rude intrusions other than with a complete moratorium on community sweeps.
The Orange County Coalition for Immigrant Rights strongly urges the INS to cease community sweeps. Allow churches and families to pursue their cooperative mission of securing for their members a peaceful and just existence.
THE REV. JAIME SOTO
Chairperson, Orange County
Coalition for Immigrant Rights