Catholic Bishops: Family Unity is Cornerstone of American Immigration

BY ISN STAFF | June 4, 2018

Bishop Joe Vásquez

“Family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system and a foundational element of Catholic teaching,” says Most Rev. Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Austin and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration. Vásquez’s comments were part of a statement issued in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s recent acknowledgment of a policy of intentionally separating immigrant parents and children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico Border.

Bishop Vásquez’s Full Statement Issued on June 1, 2018:

“Forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values. Family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system and a foundational element of Catholic teaching. ‘Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.’ (Psalm 127:3) Children are not instruments of deterrence but a blessing from God.

Rupturing the bond between parent and child causes scientifically-proven trauma that often leads to irreparable emotional scarring. Accordingly, children should always be placed in the least restrictive setting:  a safe, family environment, ideally with their own families.

My brother bishops and I understand the need for the security of our borders and country, but separating arriving families at the U.S./Mexico border does not allay security concerns. Children and families will continue to take the enormous risks of migration—including family separation—because the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle remain: community or state-sanctioned violence, gang recruitment, poverty, and a lack of educational opportunity. Any policies should address these factors first as we seek to repair our broken immigration system.”

6 replies
  1. Kilo 4/11
    Kilo 4/11 says:

    To begin with, it is against the law, not to mention cruel and unfair, to detain/jail children alongside their parents. The parents, not the children are at fault.

    In fact, what these types of articles and protests show is the hypocrisy of the left and its willingness to use even families in its bid to drive a wedge through American law to ensure the end to any meaning to America’s borders. So we should provide hotel accommodations, same as for American families traveling on vacation, for people who get caught breaking immigration law? If not that, then comfortable family detention accommodations for such lawbreakers, the kind that cost taxpayer money? Most likely what is hoped for is a return to catch-and-release policies for illegal immigrants if they travel with children, the better to ensure that they disappear into the country, skipping their court dates, which 90% of them do.

    All of these options serve as incentives to emigrate illegally to the U.S. and to encourage more illegal immigration. What’s more, the family claim is a dubious one, given that lawmen are supposed to believe that illegal immigrants traveling without documents really are family because they say so. Numerous cases are out there that these supposed family units traveling illegally together have been child-trafficking units, kept together based on the unverified claims of the lawbreakers.

    So what the protestors are calling for is nothing more than a call to make these human smugglers’ lives easier.

    Yes, families belong together. What’s obvious to most Americans on the street, at least in San Diego, is that family separation is entirely preventable if you don’t break immigration law. How hard is that to understand? Like your kids? Don’t break the law with them, then.

  2. John Louis Malkowski
    John Louis Malkowski says:

    Is this on the USCCB agenda for this week? If not, why not? This is a major moral and ethical matter for Catholics and Christians. The Cardinals, Arch/Bishops should be marching as a body to the Congress, Justice Dept, and White House protesting this unjust and inhumane policy and demanding a change.They march against abortion as “pro-life”. Is not this part of “pro-life” and family values? If they don’t take concrete grpoup public action, they sould stay away from “pro-life” marches and the meeting of Families in Dublin this summer.


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