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Justice for Immigrant Families and Children

Justice for Immigrants

Chairman of U.S. Bishops Committee on Migration Expresses Concern about Immigration Bills Before Congress, Urges Bipartisan Engagement

June 19, 2018 WASHINGTON —Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB/COM) Committee on Migration, sent a letter to every Member of the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday in response to two immigration bills that are expected to be taken up later this week by the full House. Bishop Vasquez had previously written in opposition to the first of the two bills (H.R. 4760), introduced in January of this year. The Bishop's June 18 letter focuses most of its attention on a second, yet-to-be-numbered House Republican Leadership alternative bill.

In his letter to Congress, Bishop Vásquez wrote, "While we truly want a legislative solution for Dreamers, we cannot, in good faith, endorse large structural changes to the immigration system that detrimentally impact families and the vulnerable, such as those that are contained in this legislation. We welcome the opportunity to dialogue with lawmakers and to discuss possible opportunities for further compromise, particularly with respect to effects on families and the vulnerable."

Read the Complete Statement>


A Statement from Daniel Cardinal DiNardo Archbishop Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

June 13, 2018 — "At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General's recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life."

Read the Complete Statement>


U.S. Bishops' Migration Chairman Reacts to Policy Separating Families at U.S./Mexico Border: "Children are Not Instruments of Deterrence"

June 1, 2018 — The Department of Homeland Security has recently acknowledged implementation of the policy of separating families arriving at the U.S./Mexico Border. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response:

“Forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values. Family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system and a foundational element of Catholic teaching. 'Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.' (Psalm 127:3) Children are not instruments of deterrence but a blessing from God.

Read the Complete Statement>

 

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Keeping in mind the caring role of our Holy Mother, and the crucial place that she has within the life of a family, it is deeply concerning when this relationship is fractured or broken in any fashion.

Such is the case today when we look to our southern border, where migrant families who are escaping various forms of violence and persecution in their homeland are being routinely separated.

 

Resources

Pope Francis' 2018 World Day of Migrants and Refugees Message>

Ten Things To Know About Family Separation (PDF)

World Refugee Day - June 20, 2018 Resources

Contact your
U.S. Elected Officials

Community Engagement Resources

Learn more about Family Separation

Migration and Refugee Services

 

Listen to Podcast
Marist Father Anthony O’Connor speaks with Lawrence O'Donnell about the experience of immigrant children
(Father O'Connor starts at 32.35)

Read
Providing Safe Passage for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

Catholic bishops across U.S. condemn separation of migrant children

Pray
A Prayer for Immigrant Children