By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
The President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, along with the Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration and the Chair of the Board of Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network issued a formal response to the latest immigration policy signed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Appeal to common humanity
“In this moment, our common humanity is apparent more now than ever”, the response begins. The signers cited Pope Francis's invitation to meet the current international crisis with the “creativity of love”. They warn that the “President’s action threatens instead to fuel polarization and animosity”.
Call for unity
The 3 Bishops continued, stating that the “global crisis…demands unity” rather than “more division”. They noted that “there is little evidence that immigrants take away jobs from citizens”. Rather, the Bishops insist that “immigrants and citizens together are partners in reviving the nation’s economy”.
Lastly, the Bishops stated their concern about “how the proclamation will impact immigrant families” seeking reunification with family members already in the U.S.
In addition, the measure would block those seeking entrance into the U.S. for religious purposes. This, they concluded, “will undoubtedly hurt the Catholic Church and other denominations in the United States, diminishing their overall ability to minister to those in need.”
New immigration policy
The Bishops’ response came one day after President Trump signed an executive order barring immigration to the U.S. in some circumstances.
It primarily targets family members of persons holding U.S. permanent residence who live outside of the U.S. and are seeking to immigrate.
President Trump cited securing the job market to and “preserving health care resources” for U.S. citizens as the main motivating factors for the new order. The executive order is effective for 60 days, but is subject to review with the possibility of being extended or modified beyond that period.