Over 200 religious leaders from varying religions gathered at the United States-Mexico border on Monday to celebrate Human Rights Day. Their goal was to send a message to the Trump administration: that the United States has not followed international law that allows illegal aliens to apply for asylum.
The gathering was put together by the Quaker organization American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) who held a press conference at Border Field State Park in San Diego. Following the press conference, gatherers marched towards the border to "stand in solidarity" with caravan riders who walked thousands of miles to get to the United States-Mexico border.
“As a Quaker who believes in our shared humanity … We’re calling on the U.S. to respect the rights of migrants,” Joyce Ajlouny, general secretary of AFSC, told NBC News.
"We can do better. Our sacred texts tell us to tear down walls, to welcome the immigrant and to treat everyone as if they are God's children,” said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, who held a sign that read “El Amor No Conoce Fronteras,” Spanish for love knows no borders.
When protestors made it to the border, they were stopped by border patrol agents. According to AFSC, 30 religious leaders were arrested by border patrol agents.
Here are scenes from the press conference and march:
"When a group of us went to the [children's camp in Texas] the children asked for our prayers, and all they asked is that we prayed for their moments. Our government has traumatized these people. We stand in a place where war crimes were committed by our gov" @omarsuleiman504 pic.twitter.com/QF4WvEMRwK— Fight for $15 LA (@Fightfor15LA) December 10, 2018
.@liztheo notes that "Christians all over this world..are preparing for a brown skinned Palestinian jew,an undocumented immigrant,a refugee,a homeless child,a lowwage day laborer,who spent a life in poverty,but he was the hope that we could change the world" #LoveKnowsNoBorders pic.twitter.com/WWGz99rbvQ— Fight for $15 LA (@Fightfor15LA) December 10, 2018
"I have the privilege to choose to put myself at the risk at the migrants are fighting every day, a small part of that risk. it's important for people with privilege to be real allies to those who are being oppressed"— Fight for $15 LA (@Fightfor15LA) December 10, 2018
Watch: https://t.co/O0ikyxQssg#LoveKnowsNoBorders pic.twitter.com/ujhLB3kZEo
I've seen a lot of faith-based protests, and been to the border with faith delegations twice myself. I've never seen anything like this. Not your average demonstration, confronting Border Patrol is putting yourself in serious danger. #LoveKnowsNoBorders pic.twitter.com/ZwqGEUrCA9— Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons (@GuthrieGF) December 10, 2018
UUSC VP @RachelGoreFreed standing in solidarity at the #LoveKnowsNoBorders direct action at the southwest border with Monica Curca @monicacurcapax of @LabsActivate! #LoveResists pic.twitter.com/p4Hy5rhJR6— Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (@UUSC) December 10, 2018
There's a historic rise in progressive faith activism going on right now, including faith leaders getting arrested at the border today with #LoveKnowsNoBorders action. And yet most media outlets still portray "religious" as if it meant "conservative." Bizarre! pic.twitter.com/WtfybCMVGm— Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons (@GuthrieGF) December 10, 2018
Despite flooding, hundreds of people of faith have gathered for the #LoveKnowsNoBorders action in San Diego. We're here to stand with the #MigrantCaravan and demand the US respect the right to migrate, demilitarize border communities & stop detention & deportation. #DefundHate pic.twitter.com/HNXsK21CgR— Kathryn Johnson (@KatJohnsonDC) December 10, 2018
In San Diego tonight! Here to take part in an interfaith service in advance of tomorrow's action with @afsc_org, community partners, and hundreds of faith leaders at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the #LoveKnowsNoBorders: A Moral Call for #MigrantJustice mobilization. pic.twitter.com/1fcpOSTfl5— Zahra Billoo (@ZahraBilloo) December 10, 2018
.@liztheo, @pastortraci and over 200 other faith leaders and supporters join with @afsc_org in a solemn walk to the US/Mexico border. Somebody's hurting our families, and its gone on far too long! #LoveKnowsNoBorders #PoorPeoplesCampaign— Poor People's Campaign (@UniteThePoor) December 10, 2018
Watch live: https://t.co/TjqMLwwx7T pic.twitter.com/eWkGkIVACC
We put our bodies on the line for #MigrantJustice today, coming face to face with violent border agents. They assaulted us as we prayed and sang. My brothers Ossama and @HussamA were arrested and are still detained. #LoveKnowsNoBorders, and our faith calls us to action. pic.twitter.com/HVLngFogfi— Zahra Billoo (@ZahraBilloo) December 10, 2018