BY ISN STAFF | February 24, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Today representatives from twelve national Catholic religious orders and advocacy organizations, including the Ignatian Solidarity Network and Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, signed a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. The letter made it clear that Catholic faith leaders are deeply troubled by the recent changes in immigration policy. These policies have resulted in patterns of arrests, detentions, and deportations of undocumented immigrants across the nation by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Officials and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Expressing a broad range of concerns with the implementation memos, the Catholic leaders said, “We view President Trump’s recent executive orders on immigrants and refugees, as well as the actions of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Custom and Border Patrol (CBP) agents, as sowing seeds of conflict between our nation and our churches, synagogues and mosques, threatening our religious freedom, and criminalizing and penalizing acts of charity toward immigrants and their families, recent arrivals as well as those who have been here for decades.”
“Across the Ignatian network, our immigrant brothers and sisters are sharing experiences of marginalization and fear as the administration rolls out new policies and priorities,” said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “This way of proceeding is not consistent with who we are as a country. As Catholics is it is our responsibility to share the call of compassion and concern for the marginalized that is core to our faith with governmental leaders like Secretary Kelly.”
The letter closed with a request to Secretary Kelly for the group to meet with him directly to discuss their concerns in greater detail. Other organizations whose leaders signed include: The Conference of the Major Superiors of Men, Faith in Public Life, Franciscan Action Network, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Missionary Society of St. Columban, NETWORK, Pax Christi International, Pax Christi USA, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.