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Jesuit Networks in Central America, Mexico, and South America Address Concerns Relating to Immigrant and Refugee Executive Orders

BY ISN STAFF February 13, 2017

Statements released earlier this month by the Jesuit curia and regional networks in Central America and Mexico as well as South America addressed concerns related to the executive orders relating to immigration and refugees announced in the last two weeks by President Trump.

The Central American Province of the Society of Jesus, the Provincial Committee for the Social Apostolate, and the Jesuit Migration Network of Central America added their voices to denunciations from fellow Jesuits in Canada and the United States, expressing concern and rejecting immigration measures announced by the Trump administration, including increased border security, the suspension of the right to request asylum, an increase in number of detention centers, expedited removal procedures, and the prohibition of entry by persons of various nationalities–naming all as grave violations of human rights.

The statement affirms support of the Jesuits in Canada and the United States, declaring “unity with them when they express solidarity with our migrant brothers and sister, when they reaffirm their decision not to give in to fear and to continue their long tradition of defending and accompanying migrants and refugees, no matter their place of origin or religious beliefs.”

[CNS photo/Georgi Licovski, EPA]

The Association of Universities Entrusted to the Society of Jesus in Latin America (AUSJAL), and the Jesuit University System (SUJ) in Mexico in a joint statement confirmed their “unconditional commitment to the integral formation of the individual sustained in equality, strengthening of diversity, and respect and safeguard of all human rights.” Consistent with this commitment, the organizations express concern surrounding the immigrant population in the US, particularly undocumented students who are threatened with the suspension of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program).

AUSJAL and SUJ reaffirm a commitment to “undeniable protection and respect to all students, regardless of their migratory status, who contribute with their experiences, culture and ideas, to the enrichment of society. Universities must be spaces of encounter and interaction, our mission is to build bridges, on which grounds we reject isolating walls.”

“We find ourselves in a historical moment,” reads the statement, “in which our universities must contribute to generate awareness of belonging to a global citizenship.” In kindred spirit with the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the US, AUSJAL and SUJ commit to providing counseling and support in legal issues to students who are deported or return to  because of their migratory status.

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