Pax Christi USA has joined with a number of other organizations in signing on to a letter to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security regarding the ongoing raids happening under Operation Border Guardian. This letter reacts to the March 9 DHS press release announcing additional raids and focuses on the lack of due process afforded the individuals and families who are being targeted as well as the negative impact on immigrant communities as a result of the raid program.
You can read the entire letter by clicking here.
[NOTE: Pax Christi USA signed onto this letter.]
Dear Members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Homeland Security,
We, the undersigned faith-based organizations, write to urge you to eliminate the immigrant bed quota currently required in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget.
The stipulation in the DHS appropriations legislation states that, “funding made available under this heading shall maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds.” Some members of Congress have interpreted this in recent years to mean that the U.S. government should be filling all of those 34,000 beds at all times, not just maintaining them for potential use. Neither the appropriations language nor this interpretation is in line with the values of our many faith traditions.
We are called as people of faith to seek just and humane policies for our communities, our congregations and our country. We are told in the Bible that “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:21). Adhering to an arbitrarily determined detention quota is exceptional for any agency, but it is particularly alarming in the context of our nation’s immigration system. By mandating that 34,000 beds be maintained any given time, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents face pressure to round up and detain community members for longer than necessary. The institutional pressure to fill already-paid-for beds comes at the expense of ICE agents exercising essential discretion in their day-to-day jobs and exacerbates the traumatizing effects of detention on immigrant communities…
Click here to read the entire letter.
by John Gehring, The Washington Post
When Pope Francis stands at the U.S.- Mexico border on Wednesday, he will bring a clarion message from the heart of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The biblical imperative to welcome the stranger and protect the refugee is an ancient commandment.
The presence of the first Latin American pope at the border also symbolically puts the most influential religious leader on the global stage squarely in the middle of a fierce presidential election-year fight over immigration.
Donald Trump last week called the pope “a very political person” and implied Francis was being used by the Mexican government.
“I think Mexico got him to do it,” Trump sniffed, “because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they’re making a fortune and we’re losing.”
A pope who travels to the margins as a witness to God’s solidarity with the poor and vulnerable isn’t playing politics. He is following the Gospel. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus radically redefined the definition of neighbor beyond language, religion and border…
Read the whole story by clicking here.
Posted in Bread for the Journey, Human Rights, Immigration, Pope Francis, Reflection, Refugees
Tagged border, Donald Trump, John Gehring, Mexico, Pope Francis, Washington Post
from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Pope Francis prays at the U.S.-Mexico border.
On February 17, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Juarez, Mexico. At least 450,000 people were estimated to attend on both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border. His visit is an opportunity to reshape the global conversation on migration and borders.
No doubt Pope Francis will continue to acknowledge the realities of migration – abuse and death on the journey, incarceration of asylum-seekers, divided families, social isolation and exploitation. These realities are often omitted from politicized “immigration” debates.
Click here to ask President Obama and Congress to commit to humane policies that respond to the realities of migration.