Officials with both the Diocese of El Paso and the Diocese of Ciudad Juarez announced Wednesday that religious leaders from both sides of the border would be carrying out a ‘Faith Action’ on Thursday to highlight the issues on the US-Mexico border.
Bishop Mark J. Seitz of the Diocese of El Paso and clergy of the Diocese of Ciudad Juárez be participating in the binational event.
The action is in response to what the groups say are “…recent events and actions taken to criminalize migration at the US-Mexico border, including the expansion of the Remain in Mexico policy, the deployment of security forces of both countries to the border, the ongoing deaths of migrant families in the Rio Grande and grave conditions in migrant processing centers.”
According to officials, at 1:30pm on Thursday 27 June, Bishop Seitz will cross the Lerdo International Bridge (Stanton Street Bridge) on foot to accompany migrants returned from El Paso to Ciudad Juárez as part of the Remain in Mexico program.
The Bishop will be received by leadership of the Diocese of Ciudad Juárez, including Rev. Javier Calvillo, the director of Casa del Migrante, the diocesan migrant shelter.
Bishop Seitz and Father Calvillo will pray with migrants impacted by Remain in Mexico.
Following the encounter with migrants, Bishop Seitz and Father Calvillo will make a statement regarding the current situation of migrants at the border, scheduled for 2:15pm.
“As part of the recently expanded Remain in Mexico program, hundreds of migrants are returned daily to Ciudad Juárez from El Paso, including families, women and children,” officials added. “These migrants often experience distressing conditions in immigrant detention for several days before being returned, where there is a critical lack of access to shelter, food, legal aid and basic services.”
Thousands of migrants have already been returned to Ciudad Juárez as a result of Remain in Mexico policy.