The Church, like Jesus, cares for people, and in a special way we care for the poor and the marginalized. We will continue to walk with migrants and refugees and raise our voices in their defense.
As we know from our experience serving those who have been crossing in recent years those who are coming are not leaving their homes purely for economic reasons; they are fleeing deadly violence and threats against them and their families.
Although some are fleeing from parts of Mexico, the majority are coming from the Northern Triangle of Central America: El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
As displaced refugees according to International law, which the United States helped to write, it is not illegal to enter another country when one is seeking asylum. It would not only be unChristian, it would be unAmerican to deny these refugees an opportunity to prove they qualify for protection.
Regarding the wall the Church in the United States has long held that it would be a much more efficient use of our taxpayer dollars if we would:
1) put in place a comprehensive immigration reform which addresses this country’s need for workers and
2) assist sending countries in their need for assistance to overcome the gang and drug violence that is forcing the departure of so many and creating such desperation.
We would also like to remind our immigrant brothers and sisters that we live in a democratic republic. No one person will have free reign to enforce his decisions. We will support legislative and court actions if the fundamental human rights of anyone is threatened.
To all these actions we will add our prayers that our new President will be open to these Gospel principles and that God will continue to provide for His beloved poor.
Author: Bp. Mark J. Seitz