Jesuit and Ignatian Network Welcomes Introduction of Protect Family Values at the Border Act
(Washington, D.C., September 19, 2013) — The Jesuit Conference, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Kino Border Initiative, and the Ignatian Solidarity Network join in supporting H.R. 3130, the Protect Family Values at the Border Act. This legislation protects the lives of vulnerable migrants and respects principles of Catholic social teaching which honor the dignity of all persons.
Specifically, the Protect Family Values at the Border Act limits nighttime deportations, prevents families from being needlessly separated and imperiled during the deportation process, and creates long overdue standards for Custom and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) short-term custody facilities.
As Jesuit organizations have highlighted before, the U.S. government currently uses several programs which run contrary to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) stated commitment to “safe, orderly, dignified and humane” repatriations and to “preserve the unity of families…during repatriation.” Too often, migrants are separated from the family member with whom they were traveling, and are deported at night to unfamiliar and unsafe border towns after most shelters have closed their doors, a situation which forces them to spend the night without shelter or protection. Additionally, DHS does not take the precarious security situation of northern Mexico into account when making decisions about where and how to repatriate people. Together, these practices endanger the safety and welfare of recently deported migrants.
Additionally, migrants held in CBP custody regularly report substandard conditions including extreme temperatures, lack of food and emergency medical care, and failure to allow contact with their consulates or legal service providers. The lack of access for non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations and attorneys to CBP facilities limits external oversight of conditions and leaves migrants unaware of their right to seek certain legal remedies or report abuse. Without this kind of information, many legitimate asylum seekers or trafficking victims, who have already endured violence and trauma, unknowingly sign away their right to humanitarian review.
Whether passed as a standalone bill or as part of comprehensive effort to reform our nation’s immigration laws and policies, we hope and pray that the Protect Family Values at the Border Act becomes law. Protecting and promoting the dignity of human life requires us to eliminate dangerous deportation practices that endanger the lives of migrants.
(Washington, D.C., September 5, 2017) — Dear Dreamers: We write on this difficult day to remind you of God’s love for you and to tell you that you are not alone. Across the U.S., Dreamers like yourself have graced classrooms in Jesuit schools — from the smallest among you to those now earning advanced degrees. You came to us for an education, you came for pastoral and spiritual guidance, and we welcomed you — not because of your nationality — but because you are our brothers and sisters in Christ. No government can tear that sacred bond.
(Washington, D.C., June 22, 2017) — This summer, the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits — the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church — will welcome 29 new priests in the U.S., Canada and Haiti (a member of the Jesuits’ French Canada Province).
(Washington, D.C., May 15, 2017) — The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (PWPN) has announced that Jesuit Father William Blazek will become its U.S. national director next month, succeeding current director Jesuit Father James Kubicki. Founded as the Apostleship of Prayer and recently renamed by Pope Francis, the network communicates the pope’s monthly intentions to 50 million members in 89 countries, seeking to mobilize people in prayer and action. Its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement, is present in 56 countries.
(Washington, D.C., February 22, 2017) — The Jesuits of the U.S., together with the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation and St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Reservation, are deeply concerned by the recent decision of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline.
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