Immigration enforcement operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Photo courtesy ICE

An interfaith group of San Diego religious leaders called on the mayor and city council Thursday to help protect the city’s “most vulnerable” amid “hateful” political rhetoric.

“We have been deeply troubled by the often-hateful rhetoric of the recent presidential campaign,” the religious leaders said in a letter delivered Thursday. “Threats of mass deportation, derogatory references to women, false generalizations regarding Muslims, disparaging remarks about persons of Mexican heritage, and challenges to the acceptance of persons who are LGBT have left millions of neighbors fearful for their future in this country.”

They called upon the mayor and city council to help protect the city’s “most vulnerable members.”

Signers of the letter included Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist leaders.

One of the signers, Rabbi Michael Berk of Congregation Beth Israel in La Jolla, said government leaders must “hear the voice of the vulnerable” and oppose hatred, xenophobia, prejudice and intolerance.

“Pharaoh is the example of a ruler who refuses to hear the cry coming up from the land. We know what happened to him,” said Berk.

That leaders said that for San Diego a “diversity of race, religion, and culture is a strength.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.