Bishop Decries Immigration Practices

June 20, 2018

Bishop Richard Pates

Recent events in the continuing saga of immigration enforcement call for immediate protest and insistence that human rights and the longstanding moral practices of our country be reinstituted.  We again emphasize the urgent necessity of Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the United States.

In league with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), I make my own elements of a statement he issued on June 13, 2018, on behalf of the USCCB.

 “At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.

"Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB’s Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration’s zero tolerance policy.  Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma.  Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”

 Political legislative gridlock is creating situations which might be described as inhumane and contrary to the heart of our country.  Again, there is an urgent necessity of Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the United States.