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People rally to condemn President Donald Trump's immigration remarks People mark the 8th anniversary of the massive earthquake in Haiti and condemn President Donald Trump's immigration remarks  (2018 Getty Images)

US bishops express disapproval of President Trump’s migration remarks

Catholic leaders in the United States release a statement disapproving of President Donald Trump’s alleged remarks disparaging migrants from developing nations, including African countries and Haiti.

By Devin Watkins

The Catholic bishops of the United States have responded with disapproval to President Donald Trump’s alleged comments against migration from developing countries.

A statement released by James Rogers, head of communications at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said all human beings deserve respect and compassion.

“Reports of recent disparaging remarks about African countries and Haiti have aroused great concern,” it read.

“As our brothers and sisters from these countries are primarily people of color, these alleged remarks are especially disturbing. All human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and comments that denigrate nations and peoples violate that fundamental truth and cause real pain to our neighbors.”

The statement notes that the President’s alleged comments come just ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, 15 January.

The comments, it said, could “distract from the urgent bipartisan effort to help Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status.”

“As a vigorous debate continues over the future of immigration, we must always be sure to avoid language that can dehumanize our brothers and sisters.”

Cardinal O’Malley from immigrant family


Other leading US Catholic figures have spoken out against President Trump’s reported remarks.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, wrote in a blog post about the contributions made to American society by immigrants.

“They are proud of the countries from which they have come, and they are deeply grateful for the opportunity to be citizens of this nation. They seek to contribute to the United States as a society. They believe in education for their children, and parents often work two or three jobs to make that education possible,” he wrote.

Cardinal O’Malley also spoke of his family’s immigration to the US from Ireland, where he said they were welcomed “and given the opportunity to contribute to this nation and our Church.”

The United States, he said, is “a nation of immigrants, and historically an immigrant Church, and both have benefitted greatly from those welcomed here.”

Cardinal Blaise Cupich: ‘nation of migrants’


The Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Blaise Cupich, also Tweeted a statement thanking Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable, who is called the “Founder of Chicago” and was an immigrant from Haiti.

Cardinal Cupich said, “We are a nation of immigrants, who have made America great. We continue to be enriched by the gifts they bring to our shores.”

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Please find below the full statement from the USCCB:

January 12, 2018

“Reports of recent disparaging remarks about African countries and Haiti have aroused great concern. As our brothers and sisters from these countries are primarily people of color, these alleged remarks are especially disturbing. All human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and comments that denigrate nations and peoples violate that fundamental truth and cause real pain to our neighbors. It is regrettable that this comes on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and could distract from the urgent bipartisan effort to help Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status. As a vigorous debate continues over the future of immigration, we must always be sure to avoid language that can dehumanize our brothers and sisters.”

- James Rogers, Chief Communications Officer for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

13 January 2018, 15:13