BY ISN STAFF | July 4, 2018

Catholic demonstrators call for humane immigration policies during a march prior to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. [Ignatian Solidarity Network]

Last month as public pressure was mounting regarding the Trump Administration’s “zero-tolerance” border prosecution policy that separated over 2,300 children from their parents with no reunification plan the Catholic leaders in Latin America who belong to the Latin American and the Caribbean Network of Migration, Refuge and Treatment of Persons (CLAMOR) sent a very personal appeal to President Trump. “We lift our voices on behalf of hundreds of child immigrants who have been separated from their family members,” said the group of bishops, priests, religious women and men, and lay leaders, describing the separation of families as treating people like “animals.”

The letter, originally published in Spanish on the website of the Latin American Catholic Bishops Conference closed with a plea for President Trump to “hear the cries of so many children and their families.” President Trump received similar critiques and calls to action from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other Catholic organizations, including the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States which joined with Jesuit university law schools and the Kino Border Initiative in calling for an end to family separation for asylum seekers and those crossing without documentation.

A full translation of the letter in English can be found below.

Bogota, Colombia, June 19, 2018

Mr. Donald Trump

President of the United States of America

Mr. President, the undersigned are a group of bishops, priests, consecrated women and men and lay persons who belong to the Latin American and the Caribbean Network of Migration, Refuge and Treatment of Persons (CLAMOR).

We lift our voices on behalf of hundreds of child immigrants who have been separated from their family members, and who are receiving inhumane treatment, as if they were animals, in some border cities of your great Nation. This is a grave sin, which calls out to heaven for justice.

We pray that God will give you a heart of flesh and fill your insides with mercy, that will make it possible for you to hear the cries of so many children and their families and the cries of millions of human beings throughout the entire world.

We also ask God that you, Mr. President, will go down in history as a wise leader who will fill his road with Christian-centered humanity and will know how to guide your Nation in the holistic development of all persons, a development of the totality of every person and of all persons.

On behalf of La Red Latinoamericana Y Caribeña de Migración, Refugio y Trata de Personas, CLAMOR.

+José Luis Azuaje
Archbishop of Maracaibo
President of SELACC

+Gustavo Rodríguez Vega
Archbishop of Yucatán
President of DEJUSOL

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