Press Release
Society of Jesus Calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

(Washington, D.C., May 13, 2013) — In letters to President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress, the nine provincials of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in the United States are calling for comprehensive and humane immigration reform. More than 200 Jesuit communities, affiliated organizations, parishes and institutions are also lending their support to the provincials’ appeal.

Provincials are leaders in the Society of Jesus, an order of priests and brothers founded in 1540, responsible for colleges, middle schools and high schools as well as parishes and ministries that practice a faith that promotes justice. The provincials’ letters to Congress and the president urge that any proposed immigration reform include a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants as well as a legal employment structure protecting both migrants and U.S. workers, expedited family reunification and an end to policies that exacerbate family separation.  The letters to Congress and the Obama Administration follow a similar appeal made by the provincials in 2011.

“The immigration debate provokes emotion on both sides of the aisle and we hope that our elected officials can rise above partisan politics,” said Jesuit Father Thomas H. Smolich, president of the Jesuit Conference.  “Because of our commitment to educating the children of migrants in our schools, serving migrant communities in our parishes and offering men, women and children food and shelter on the border, we see firsthand the costs of current immigration laws.  We’ve been calling for reform for many years, and we’ve never been closer.  We pray that Congress considers the future of 11 million people hanging in the balance.”

The letter is the most recent action by the Jesuits supporting immigration reform. Earlier this year, the Jesuit Conference, the Kino Border Initiative and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA released a new study, “Documented Failures: The Consequences of Immigration Policy on the U.S.-Mexico Border,” highlighting excessive use of force, particularly dangerous deportation practices and abuse of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by U.S. Border Patrol agents. Jesuit Father Sean Carroll, executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, testified at a congressional hearing on the report in April.

Download a PDF copy of the letter by clicking here.

Recent Press

(Washington, D.C., November 5, 2015) — The Jesuit Conference, the organization that represents the Society of Jesus in Canada and the U.S., announced today that Father Sean Michaelson, SJ, has been named the Conference’s new Executive Secretary/Socius.

(Washington, D.C., September 15, 2015) — As Pope Francis stated in his message for the 2014 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, “Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity.” A new study released today finds, however, that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is not fulfilling its obligation to protect the civil and human rights of migrants apprehended, detained and deported back to Mexico.

(Washington, D.C., September 8, 2015) — In just two weeks, the first Jesuit pope makes his first visit to the United States. In anticipation of the historic U.S. visit of Pope Francis, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has posted an online resource page with information about their religious order — the largest in the Catholic Church — and their unique spirituality.

(Washington, D.C., June 9, 2015) — The Society of Jesus, the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, will ordain 28 Jesuits in Canada and the United States to the priesthood this summer — the largest group of new priests ordained by the Jesuits in more than 15 years.

(Washington, D.C., April 14, 2015) — The board of directors of the Jesuit Secondary Education Association (JSEA) voted today to establish the Jesuit Schools Network of North America. The Jesuit Schools Network will replace JSEA as the organization charged with providing services and programming to the 80 Jesuit pre-secondary and secondary schools in the U.S. and Canada.

(Washington, D.C., January 15, 2015) — The Jesuits of the United States have consistently sought comprehensive, humane solutions to the glaring injustices occasioned by our broken immigration system, including separation of families, stolen wages, lack of observance of due process, and dangerous deportation practices.

(Washington, D.C., December 3, 2014) — On the feast of St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of missionaries and one of the first companions of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, the Society of Jesus is celebrating a significant milestone: the establishment of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.

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