July 30, 2019, Washington, D.C. – “The threats of deportation and family separation are causing anxiety and fear within the vulnerable communities our agencies serve, endangering immigrant rights and safety.” Those are the words of Sister Donna Markham, OP, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA. She is one of many faith leaders to speak out against raids in immigrant communities announced by the U.S. agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The raids by ICE, as well as the inhumane conditions of detention centers holding immigrant children, have brought public attention and concern to the border between the United States and Mexico. Read more in Crux about the stance of Sister Donna and other faith leaders about the immigration crisis and the need to treat immigrants with dignity and justice.
June 25, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – The General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued the following statement concerning the treatment of immigrant children at the border between the United States and Mexico.
We denounce in the strongest possible terms the unconscionable mistreatment of children on the U.S.-Mexico border by the Trump Administration, and call on our elected leaders to take all measures necessary to provide them with adequate food, shelter, and healthcare – and, most importantly, to reunite them with their families.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Mt 19:14).
That children “such as these” – infants, toddlers, youngsters – reportedly have been subject to horrific overcrowding, hunger, lice infestations, sleeping on concrete floors, and other unhygienic and inhumane conditions is an assault on our human decency and fundamental moral values. It should have all Americans, as the prophets of old, rending our garments and weeping in anguish at the depravity.
It is not enough that children at the facility in Clint, Texas, are being moved to other facilities after the spotlight of public attention has exposed the scandalous way this Administration is treating these migrant children. What other facilities are holding children under similarly harsh conditions? These and other children must be reunited with their parents or with relatives residing in the United States who must be able to claim them safely.
This is not the first time we have learned about the inhumanity visited upon children at the border. In 2018, the international community was aghast at stories about this Administration’s treatment of migrant children, separating them from their families and placing them in cages for days on end in clear violation of the Flores Agreement, which provides that children may not be confined for more than 20 days.
As Members of Congress take steps to address the urgent humanitarian crisis on the border created by this Administration’s venomous approach to immigration, the top priority must be to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of God’s beloved – children such as these – now and into the future.
Members of the General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters are Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress; Sister Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress and General Councilor; Sister Frances Nadolny, OP, Administrator and General Councilor; and Sister Patricia Harvat, OP, and Elise García, OP, General Councilors.
Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Director of Immigration Assistance at the Adrian Dominican Sisters was recently featured in a news story by NBC 24 News (Toledo, Ohio). Click here to view the story.