News Detail
Syrian refugees wait on the Syrian side of the border near Sanliurfa, Turkey. (CNS photo/Sedat/Suna, EPA)
Jesuits to Congress: "We Can Welcome Refugees While Ensuring Our Own Security"

November 19, 2015 — The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States is urging members of Congress to oppose efforts to suspend the U.S. refugee resettlement program or restrict funding for Syrians and other groups of refugees.

The Conference joined over 80 other humanitarian agencies, including Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, in signing a letter to Congressional representatives that noted that the U.S. is “a welcoming country with a diverse society and that the resettlement program must continue to reflect this.” 


Father Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, speaks on-site at the White House in Washington, D.C., in favor of welcoming more refugees from the Middle East to the U.S.

The letter came after a number of U.S. governors announced that they want to stop their states from resettling Syrian refugees and some members of Congress introduced legislation that would stop refugee resettlement altogether.

"Statements conflating refugees and terrorists lead us down a really unfortunate path. Syrian refugees are trying to escape from the very terror that we saw so vividly illustrated in the coordinated attacks in Beirut, Paris and Baghdad," said Shaina Aber, Policy Director for the Jesuit Conference.

The letter noted that refugees are “the most thoroughly vetted group of people who come to the United States,” and the screening process typically takes two years before the refugee would arrive in the U.S.

The letter says that “to turn our back on refugees would be to betray our nation's core values. We can welcome refugees while ensuring our own security. Refugees have enriched communities across our country and have been part of the American fabric for generations.

Father Tom Smolich, SJ, international director of Jesuit Refugee Service, said, “The idea of only taking Christian refugees is contrary to what we stand for as an immigrant nation. It says we’re afraid. Fear is never a place to make decisions. It’s contrary to where God is calling us. And frankly — it’s bad policy.”

To read the full text of the letter, click here.

Visit jesuits.org/syria for additional stories and updates on the Jesuits' actions in Syria and the Middle East. 

[Sources: Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Ignatian Solidarity Network, TIME]





Recent News

November 6, 2019 ­— Nicole Walters' first experience of Imaginative Prayer led to a profound encounter with God.

November 5, 2019 — Today we remember the Jesuits Saints and Blessed who have lived Ignatian values in inspirational ways.

November 4, 2019 — Jesuit organizations from across the world are gathering in Rome this week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat.

October 31, 2019 — Today is the feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, SJ, patron saint of Jesuit brothers.

October 30, 2019 — Fr. Laramie, a campus minister and author, fills in the blanks to give us a deeper insight into his life and vocation.

October 25, 2019 — Clarissa Aljentera prays the Examen with her son because she wants him to learn that sometimes the most impactful moments of God are small moments in the day.

October 24, 2019 — Fr. Joseph O’Keefe, SJ, is appointed the first provincial for the Jesuits USA East Province. He will assume office on July 31, 2020.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 10/14/19

America 9/30/19

America 9/16/19



Manresa House of Retreats
Manresa House of Retreats is located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Convent, La., midway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.