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.
For decades, Sweden has been known as one of Europe’s most refugee and migrant-friendly countries. In recent years, however, a surge of new arrivals has caused the country to tighten its policies, which has received consistent pushback from the country’s small yet vocal Catholic minority.
Dear Editor: I accept Bishop DiMarzio’s opinion in this matter and as Catholics we are grateful for his opinion – as Catholics! As Americans, we and our elected officials are responsible for dealing with an extraordinary situation on our border.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Some have taken their indignation all the way to the border between the U.S. and Mexico, while others have taken action closer to home, protesting while accompanied by their children and fellow parishioners in cities and towns across the U.S.
After weeks of active protests against the Trump administration’s family separation policy, The Tablet has learned that a delegation of U.S. Catholic bishops will visit the U.S.-Mexico border this weekend.
Maybe it was the request by the Pentagon for 20,000 mattresses as military bases become, at least partly, shelters for detained border crossers. Whatever the reason, hundreds of American adults have called the Washington headquarters of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops seeking to provide foster care for the separated children.