Catholic Organizations Express Opposition To Anti-Immigration Budget Proposals

BY ISN STAFF | January 13, 2024

The Ignatian Solidarity Network joined fifty Catholic organizations and religious congregations committed to solidarity with migrants to send letters to the U.S. Senate and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, to express opposition to reported immigration proposals negotiated as part of the Biden administration’s supplemental budget request.

Jonathan Mora, a student at Boston College and member of ISN's Undocu Network, speaks in front of the U.S. Capitol on October 30, 2023.

Jonathan Mora, a student at Boston College and member of ISN’s Undocu Network, speaks in front of the U.S. Capitol on October 30, 2023. The Undoc Network comprises students and recent alumni of Catholic colleges and universities.

Upholding the Catholic principles of welcoming the stranger and the preferential option for the poor, the organizations rejected reported proposals that would raise the legal standard for accessing asylum, implement a Title 42-expulsion authority, and expand expedited removal nationwide. Instead, organizations and congregations urged senators and the administration to work for bipartisan solutions to support communities welcoming newcomers, provide a pathway to citizenship for long-term undocumented residents, including young people often referred to as “Dreamers,” reduce asylum wait times, increase access to legal representation, and address the root causes of forced migration.

“Our work with young people who are undocumented and partnership with Jesuit border ministries accompanying those seeking asylum make us keenly aware that the immigration proposals being offered will cause harm and only further marginalize vulnerable populations,” said Christopher Kerr, Executive Director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “We echo the calls of Pope Francis and the U.S. Catholic Bishops for the United States to be a leader in creating a world where immigrants, refugees, migrants, and people on the move are treated with dignity, respect, welcome, and belonging.”

“As a Catholic organization accompanying our brothers and sisters in Central America and at the U.S.-Mexico border, we know the awful impacts the terrible proposal under consideration will have on the vulnerable,” said Dylan Corbett, Executive Director of the Hope Border Institute. “This approach will harm people seeking safety and generate unnecessary challenges at the border. It is time for Congress and the White House to learn from faith communities working hard to welcome newcomers and enact real solutions to humanely manage the border and uphold the rule of law.”

“As Congress continues to debate a supplemental funding package, the rights and protections of the most vulnerable, including asylum seekers, must not be compromised,” said Giulia McPherson, Vice President of Advocacy at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, a division of the Society of Jesus’s worldwide ministry accompanying refugees and migrants. “We call on policymakers to support critical overseas humanitarian assistance while also ensuring that those who arrive at our borders are afforded the opportunity to seek protection, safely and humanely.”

Organizational signatories of the letter include the following:

Adorers of the Blood of Christ US Region JPIC Office
Adrian Dominican Sisters
Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico
Catholic Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami
Center for Migration Studies of New York
Congregation of St. Joseph of Chicago
Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul USA
Dominican Sisters of Hope
Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa
Estrella del Paso (formerly Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services)
Franciscan Action Network
Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart
Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart
Holy Cross Sisters
Hope Border Institute
Ignatian Solidarity Network
Immaculate Heart Community Commission on Justice for Immigrants, Refugees, and
Indigenous People
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Buffalo and
Kino Border Initiative
Leadership Team of Sisters of Providence
Leadership Team of the Felician Sisters of North America
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Medical Mission Sisters, Justice Office
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Office of JPIC Daughters of Wisdom
Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity/Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth
Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters
Quixote Center
Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Leadership
Sisters of Mercy Justice Team
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur EW
Sisters of Notre Dame of the United States
Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Indiana
Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
Sisters of St. Joseph
Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston
Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery/WestHartford
Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyon – Maine
Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield
Sisters of the Holy Spirit
Sisters of the Humility of Mary
Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA
Society of the Holy Child Jesus
U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph

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