BY ISN STAFF | February 11, 2015
WASHINGTON DC- Just weeks after making a public statement regarding the anti-immigration amendments in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill (H.R. 240), the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States has sent a letter to Congress challenging them to reject such amendments. The Jesuit letter calls for an end to supporting laws that harm immigrants and “undermine the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for the Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs.” The letter also addresses concerns with H.R. 399, the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015 and H.R. 2278, the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act (SAFE Act).
The letter concludes with a promise to continue to challenge Congress “to support immigration policies that treat our undocumented neighbors with the dignity and respect that all people deserve.” The Jesuits have been consistent advocates for an end to legislation that criminalizes immigrants, militarizes the US-Mexico border, and removes critical protections for children and other individuals seeking safety and refuge.
In summer 2014, as over 50,000 unaccompanied children from Central America crossed the U.S. Southern border, the Jesuits were in opposition of legislation that would strip children and asylum seekers of much needed protections. Additionally, this week’s letter to Congress is delivered almost a year to the date of when Jesuit Conference then-president Fr. Thomas Smolich, S.J., called on President Obama to protect the lives of migrants.
The full letter can be found here.