As Caravan Moves North, Catholics Insist Seeking Asylum Not a Crime

As President Donald Trump prepares to send 5,200 troops to Mexican border to block some 4,000 Central American asylum-seekers, Catholic leaders are urging governments to address the underlying causes of migration while reminding people that seeking asylum is not a crime.

The Immigration Conundrum

The issue of immigration reform has caught the attention of our country because of the unfortunate practice of separating children from their parents as they approach the border. Some of the people are seeking asylum or a safe haven escaping difficult situations in their home countries, especially violence and oppression. Others come seeking to improve their economic condition fleeing a life of poverty.

Can We Have a Rational Discussion About Immigration?

Since The Tablet did not publish an issue last weekend, the letters to the editor have been piling up on my desk. Most of them have dealt with one subject – the separation of families at the border between the United States and Mexico as we struggle with an influx of peoples wanting to enter the U.S.

USCCB Migration Chair Signs Petition for ‘American Approach to Immigration’

Bishop Joe Vásquez, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, has joined over 50 leading law enforcement officers, faith leaders, national security officials, and business professionals in an Independence Day statement calling for greater treatment and welcome of immigrants and refugees to America.

Bishops Close Border Visit Calling for Family Unity, Compassion

“We are a nation of laws, and we are also a nation of compassion.” That was the mantra of an early July visit by a delegation of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to the epicenter of the immigration crisis, the Brownsville-McAllen area in Texas, right on the Mexico border.

At the US Border, Parishioners Fear Immigration Realities

While the separation of families is the issue on the front cover of the newspapers, there is another drama taking place in theses towns near the border. For many years, people on both sides of the border formed a large interconnected community. Close to 85 percent of the McAllen population is Hispanic and there are many families that have lived here for decades without proper documents.

US Bishops May Send Delegation to Mexico Border

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced the conference will explore the idea of sending a bishops’ delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border to inspect detention facilities and offer a sign of solidarity with migrants and refugees.