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Bishops' Holy Week statement on situation at US-Mexico border

image CPT

image CPT

Source: USCCB

The bishops along the border of the United States and Northern Mexico have issued the following joint statement on the situation at the border of the two countries:

As US and Mexican bishops along the border, we witness daily the dilemma that our migrant sisters and brothers face. For most, the decision to migrate is not motivated by an indifference toward their homeland or the pursuit of economic prosperity; it is a matter of life or death. The situation is all the more difficult for children.

Challenges such as these require humanitarian solutions. Undoubtedly, nations have the right to maintain their borders. This is vital to their sovereignty and self-determination. At the same time, there is a shared responsibility of all nations to preserve human life and provide for safe, orderly, and humane immigration, including the right to asylum.

For that reason, we renew our appeal to our governments, to political leaders, and civil society, that they work together to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate migrants in accordance with their intrinsic dignity, as well as work with other countries in the region to eliminate conditions that compel their citizens to resort to dangerous and irregular migration, producing long-term solutions. "Unlike disagreement and conflict," Pope Francis reminds us, "persistent and courageous dialogue does not make headlines, but quietly helps the world to live much better than we imagine."

Conscious of the importance of public health and safety, we encourage policies supported by sound scientific rationales. We maintain that family unity must be a vital component of any response. We ask that special attention be given to particularly vulnerable populations, such as children. We strongly urge that structures be put in place and reforms in our laws be made to both promote a welcoming culture for our sisters and brothers and respect the sovereignty and safety of our countries.

We pledge our support to continue helping our respective governments' efforts to protect and care for families, as well as individuals who feel compelled to migrate. To accomplish this we commit to the ongoing work of Catholic organizations at the border and elsewhere, which are generously tended to by lay people, consecrated persons, and the clergy.

One year ago, on the eve of Easter Sunday, Pope Francis, exclaimed: "How beautiful it is to be Christians who offer consolation, who bear the burdens of others and who offer encouragement: messengers of life in a time of death." As we once again enter into Holy Week, in which we experience the power of love in Christ's Death and Resurrection, we feel encouraged to keep going, helping migrants, conscious that while the way ahead is long and arduous, it is not impossible if we journey together.

US Bishops:

-Most Reverend Mario E. Dorsonville, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, Chairman, US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration

-Most Reverend Mark J. Seitz, Bishop of El Paso

-Most Reverend James A. Tamayo, Bishop of Laredo

-Most Reverend Edward J Weisenburger, Bishop of Tucson

-Most Reverend Daniel E. Flores, Bishop of Brownsville

-Most Reverend Peter Baldacchino, Bishop of Las Cruces

-Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy, Bishop of San Diego

-Most Reverend Michael J Sis, Bishop of San Angelo

-Most Reverend Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS, Archbishop of San Antonio

Mexican Bishops:

-Monsignor José Guadalupe Torres Campos, Bishop of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Encargado de la Dimensión Episcopal de Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana (DEPMH)

-Monsignor Jesús José Herrera Quiñones, Bishop of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua

-Monsignor Alonso Garza Treviño, Bishop of Piedras Negras, Coahuila

-Monsignor Enrique Sánchez Martínez, Bishop of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas

-Monsignor Eugenio Andrés Lira Rugarcía, Bishop of Matamoros, Tamaulipas

-Monsignor Hilario González García, Bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila


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