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Church \ Church in the Americas

US Bishops decry Trump's orders to construct wall on border

Pope Francis next to the US border before celebrating Mass at Ciudad Juarez in Mexico in February 2016 - AFP

Pope Francis next to the US border before celebrating Mass at Ciudad Juarez in Mexico in February 2016 - AFP

26/01/2017 14:25

(Vatican Radio) The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a statement decrying President Trump’s orders to construct a wall at the US/Mexico border and to increase immigrant detention and deportation.

Actions, the statement says, that put immigrants’ lives needlessly in harm’s way, tear families apart and spark fear in communities. 

Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:

Reacting to the US President’s executive orders to build the wall, Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Committee of Migration and Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, points out that its construction “will only make migrants, especially vulnerable women and children, more susceptible to traffickers and smugglers”.

“I will continue, Bishop Vasquez says, to follow the example of Pope Francis” looking to build bridges between people, “bridges that allow us to break down the walls of exclusion and exploitation”.

In regards to the announcement of the planned surge in immigrant detention and deportation forces, Bishop Vasquez said these “will tear families apart and spark fear and panic in communities”. 

Vasquez expresses his respect for the right of the government to control its borders and ensure security but, he says, he does not believe that “a large scale escalation of immigrant detention and intensive increased use of enforcement in immigrant communities is the way to achieve those goals”.

Reiterating the Bishops’ commitment to comprehensive, compassionate, and common-sense reform, Vasquez says: “we fear that the policies announced today will make it much more difficult for the vulnerable to access protection in our country”. 

Bishop Vasquez concludes the statement with the promise to continue to support and stand in solidarity with immigrant families. 

“We remind our communities and our nation that these families have intrinsic value as children of God. And to all those impacted by today’s decision, we are here to walk with you and accompany you on this journey.”Trump

26/01/2017 14:25