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., January 30, 2017) — The Jesuits of Canada and the U.S. denounce the Trump Administration’s Executive Order suspending and barring refugees and banning nationals of seven countries.

(Washington D.C., January 26, 2017) — The Jesuits of Canada and the United States are profoundly concerned about the Trump Administration’s actions to dramatically increase detention and deportation.

(Rome, October 14, 2016) — Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, SJ, of Venezuela, was elected the 31st Superior General of the Society of Jesus at the Jesuits’ General Congregation 36 (GC 36) today in Rome.

(Rome, October 6, 2016) — Like thousands of other pilgrims before them, 215 Jesuit priests and brothers will walk through the Holy Door of Mercy at St. Peter’s Basilica tomorrow.

(Rome, Italy, September 30, 2016) — 215 Jesuits from 62 countries — among them 29 Americans — will elect a replacement for Superior General Father Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, 80, who has announced his intention to resign.

(Rome, Italy, September 27, 2016) — The Society of Jesus (Jesuits), the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, will hold the first plenary session of General Congregation 36 in Rome on October 3.

(Washington D.C., September 22, 2016) — This fall, the Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits), the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, welcomed 43 men as novices in the U.S., the largest group in the last decade.

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