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Holy Cross statement condemning separation of refugee families

Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross

General Leadership Team Statement Condemning Forcible Separation of Refugee Families

June 19, 2018

The Sisters of the Holy Cross are appalled that on the eve of World Refugee Day (celebrated globally on June 20), the United States is detaining and forcibly separating refugee families at our border, rather than welcoming them. We also deplore the recent decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to remove domestic violence as grounds for asylum.

The Sisters of the Holy Cross have a long history of educating children and ministering to immigrants. We agree with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, who said, “The root problems are war and hatred, not people who flee.” We join with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in condemning this immoral treatment of refugees, and we call for the creation of immigration policies that respect families, the basic units of a strong and healthy society.

Prophetic voices are needed now more than ever. We invite you to learn more and take action:

Please read this statement from Sister Teresa Maya, CCVI, LCWR president, regarding forcible family separations featured in a June 1 Interfaith Immigration Coalition press release:

“As women of faith, as Catholic sisters, we strongly oppose the Trump administration’s decision to forcibly separate parents from their children in an effort to punish families seeking safety in the United States.

“Mothers and fathers are taking tremendous risks to bring their children to safety. These are families fleeing violence and death in their home countries. They have every right to ask for protection in the United States and the Trump administration is legally and morally obligated to give them a fair chance to seek asylum.

“It is impossible to imagine the fear of a child being ripped from the arms of her mother or the pain of a father watching a stranger take his son. It is cruel and inhumane and it must stop. Our faith demands it and our national values require it. We are better than this.”

Please tell President Trump and Congress to stop this immoral separation now:

Call the White House: The switchboard number is 202-456-1414. Here is some suggested text for your call:

“I am [Name] from [CITY/TOWN], and as a person of faith, I urge the president to stop taking children from their parents, immediately. The administration’s policy of forcibly separating parents from their children is immoral. These families are entitled to the respect and dignity that is their God-given right. I value the sanctity of the family and firmly believe that the president should end this immoral practice immediately. He has the power to do it. Our faith demands it. And our national values require it. We are better than this.”

Call Members of Congress: The Capitol switchboard (202-224-3121) will connect you to your members of Congress. You will need to call three times to reach your two senators and your representative. Here is an example of what to say:

“I am your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and as a person of faith, I urge you to support policies that protect and unite immigrant and refugee families. The administration is detaining and prosecuting parents, and forcibly separating them from their children. I value the sanctity of the family and believe Congress should act to bring families together, not keep them apart. The president could end this immoral practice immediately. Unfortunately, that seems unlikely. I call on you to do everything in your power to stop family separation. Congress should increase oversight over the Department of Homeland Security and urge them to end unjust policies. Congress should also cut funding for harmful immigration enforcement that separates families.”

Send an Email to Your U.S. Representative: Click on the Justice for Immigrants Action Alert page to send an email urging that immigrant children and families seeking safety from violence be kept together.

For more information on Holy Cross’ support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, click here.

To learn more about Holy Cross’ statement against the 2017 executive orders on immigration and refugee resettlement, click here.