General Leadership Team Statement on the Migrant Caravan

October 29, 2018

The Sisters of the Holy Cross, in solidarity with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), call on U.S. President Donald Trump to allow the people of the Central American migrant caravan to seek asylum in the United States according to due process of law. Thousands of men, women and children have been forced from their homes due to unimaginable violence and corruption. The United States has always been a nation where those fleeing tyranny could find refuge and a new life, embracing and contributing to the American dream.

We join LCWR in urging the administration to manage refugee arrivals humanely and in a manner that respects their dignity and rights under U.S. and international law, and to:

  • Allow migrants to approach the border and ask for protection in the United States, and to be admitted for processing in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that asylum seekers have access to legal counsel and receive a fair resolution of their claim.
  • Guarantee that parents and children stay together after they are apprehended. Holding families indefinitely in detention or detaining parents while releasing their children violates the values of the United States and the standards set forth in the Flores settlement.*
  • Abstain from detention of those awaiting adjudication of their asylum petitions in favor of alternatives that are more humane and more cost-efficient.
  • Direct the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to cooperate with faith-based and humanitarian organizations who are prepared to assist asylum-seekers.

For further information, read LCWR’s public statement calling for the welcome and humane treatment of arriving migrants.

Let us put aside the violent rhetoric of fear and division, and in the spirit of the Gospel welcome these asylum seekers.

The General Leadership Team
Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross

*According to Human Rights First, the Flores Settlement Agreement imposed several obligations on the immigration authorities, which fall into three broad categories:

  1. The government is required to release children from immigration detention without unnecessary delay to, in order of preference, parents, other adult relatives, or licensed programs willing to accept custody.
  2. If a suitable placement is not immediately available, the government is obligated to place children in the “least restrictive” setting appropriate to their age and any special needs.
  3. The government must implement standards relating to the care and treatment of children in immigration detention.

 

Read more at https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/flores-settlement-brief-history-and-next-steps.

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