Monthly Archives: March 2017

//March

Easter Recess In-District Meetings: JFI Asks

As Members of Congress return to their district for the upcoming Easter break, we have created resources for your in-district meetings with them. You will find talking points on the BRIDGE Act, Executive Orders and a call to refrain from Family Separation. In addition, each of these handouts has an Easter Reflection on Migration.

House In District Meetings_Easter

Senate In District Meetings_Easter

2017-04-10T10:17:05+00:00Action Alerts|

Catholic Religious Sign Letter in Support of Refugee Resettlement

4000 Catholic priests, religious brothers and sisters, and deacons continue broad support for refugee resettlement program

Washington, D.C. – Today a letter, signed by 4,000 Catholic priests, religious brothers and sisters, and deacons, calls on elected officials and citizens alike to fulfill the moral responsibility to welcome and protect those displaced from their homes, fleeing from war and other forms of violence.

Quoting the bible verse, Matthew 25, and pointing to the teachings of Jesus, the letter cites the strong Catholic faith tradition of welcoming the stranger. Additionally, it reminds elected officials of the strict vetting process currently in place and rejects any proposal which “prioritize refugees of certain religions over others.”

From the Letter: “Our nation has long prided itself on providing refugee families an opportunity to start a new life and the chance to contribute to the continued flourishing of our country. Now, when the need is so great, is not the time to waver in our commitment to this tradition of welcome.”

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me…” Matthew 25: 35-40

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Text of the Letter:

March 27, 2017

We, 4000 priests, religious brothers and sisters, and deacons of the Catholic Church, appeal to our President and political leaders to continue broad support for   United States’ refugee resettlement program.

As leaders in the Church, we are deeply committed to Jesus’ teaching to welcome the stranger and to protect those who are marginalized and vulnerable. With some sixty-five million people worldwide displaced from their homes due to war and other forms of violence, the United States has a moral responsibility to remain a safe haven for children, women, and men fleeing persecution and possible death. Our nation has long prided itself on providing refugee families an opportunity to start a new life and the chance to contribute to the continued flourishing of our country. Now, when the need is so great, is not the time to waiver in our commitment to this tradition of welcome.

Furthermore, while the Catholic Church in the United States is deeply concerned with the persecution of religious minorities, we strongly reject any proposal to prioritize refugees of certain religions over others.  We understand and support the need for a safe resettlement program, however, we remind our leaders that the vetting in place currently is quite stringent and has proven very successful, and that we must always balance the need for security with the need to protect and welcome the most vulnerable among us. Doing so is fundamental to our religious tradition: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.” (MT 25:35). We call on our elected officials to ensure that refugees of all ethnic and religious backgrounds have equal access to the U.S. resettlement program.

Our Catholic community will continue to stand with refugees and other marginalized migrant populations. We will continue to advocate for the recognition and protection of the human dignity of all. And we will recommit to work with our government in order to ensure that our resettlement program is both secure and accessible to the vulnerable refugees in need of our compassion, welcome, and support.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me…” Matthew 25: 35-40

2017-03-28T11:13:36+00:00News|

Webinar on Issues involving the US-Mexico Border

On Thursday, March 9th, we had a webinar to discuss issues along the US-Mexico Border. The participants in this call were:

Melissa Hastings – Immigration Policy Advisor, USCCB/MRS

Theodora Simon- Associate Director For Advocacy and Leadership Development, Hope Border Institute

Fr. Luis Eduardo Zavala deAlba, PhD, Director Monarch House, Humanitarian Relief for Migrants

Joanna Williams, Director of Education and Advocacy, Kino Border Institute

 

You can listen to the audio in 3 parts below

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

2017-06-07T12:31:27+00:00Webinars|

U.S. Bishops Migration Chairman Bishop Joe Vásquez Responds to New Executive Order

WASHINGTON—The Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, says that President Trump’s latest Executive Order still puts vulnerable populations around the world at risk. In a statement issued after the announcement of today’s travel suspension, Bishop Vásquez says that while we seek to maintain our values and safety, we must also exercise compassion in assisting and continuing to welcome the stranger.

Bishop Vázquez’s full statement follows:

“We remain deeply troubled by the human consequences of the revised executive order on refugee admissions and the travel ban. While we note the Administration’s efforts to modify the Executive Order in light of various legal concerns, the revised  Order    still leaves many innocent lives at risk.

The removal of one of the original seven predominantly Muslim countries temporarily barred from entering the United States is welcome, but we are disappointed that the revised order maintains the temporary shutdown of the U.S. refugee admissions program, continues the more than 60 percent reduction in the number of refugees who can be resettled into the United States this year, and still temporarily bars nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops have long recognized the importance of ensuring public safety and would welcome reasonable and necessary steps to accomplish that goal.

However, based on the knowledge that refugees are already subjected to the most vigorous vetting process of anyone who enters the United States, there is no merit to pausing the refugee resettlement program while considering further improvement to that vetting process.

The United States has long provided leadership in resettling refugees. We believe in assisting all those who are vulnerable and fleeing persecution, regardless of their religion, including Christians, Muslims, and all others. We believe that by helping to resettle the most vulnerable, we are living out our Christian faith and “welcoming the stranger” as Jesus has challenged us to do.

Today, more than 65 million people around the world are forcibly displaced from their homes. Given this extraordinary level of suffering, the U.S. Catholic Bishops reaffirm their support for, and efforts to protect, all who flee persecution and violence, as just one part of the perennial and global work of the Church in defense of vulnerable persons. Resettling only 50,000 refugees a year, down from 110,000, does not reflect the need, our compassion, and our capacity as a nation. We have the ability to continue to assist the most vulnerable among us without sacrificing our values as Americans or the safety and security of our nation.”

2017-03-15T11:12:38+00:00Statements|