Religious Rights of Adventist Immigrants Denied by US Authorities
29 April 2019 | Adventist immigrants to the United States have been denied religious rights, according to a story published in the Batesville, Indiana-based Herald Tribune earlier this month.
The story documents the routine violation of the religious rights of people of various faiths when they encounter or are detained by authorities such as the United States Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Adventist immigrants mentioned in the story had their Bibles confiscated by border officials. This treatment of Adventist immigrants was used as part of a lawsuit filed in 2018 by the ACLU.
The Herald-Tribune also noted that in Victorville, California, Adventist immigrants as well as immigrants from several other faiths that were detained at a federal prison were not permitted to attend worship services or take part in group prayer or religious study.
The article claimed that immigrants detained by ICE are often denied “access to clergy, worship services, religious texts, religious diets and an appropriate place to pray.”
Federal law protects religious exercise. This protection is supposed to extend to immigrants and prison inmates and is an expression of the religious freedom that has long been a fundamental American right.