The Texas Catholic Conference today issued a letter to all members of the Texas Congressional delegation urging them to reach a policy consensus that compassionately and effectively addresses the humanitarian crisis along the southern border.
The letter was signed by Bishops from each of the 15 dioceses across the state, and appealed for prompt actions in securing emergency funding as well as upholding the due process rights of refugees seeking asylum from the suffering, abuse, and death in their home countries.
“[A] just and reasonable society works to protect and defend the vulnerable and defenseless from harm,” the Bishops asserted. “As Catholics, we feel keenly this responsibility, since our faith calls us to serve the least of these our brothers and sisters. Hence, we lend a vigorous voice to all men and women of good will who recognize that all people should be treated with dignity, compassion, and justice.”
Accompanying the letter the Bishops included a Statement of Principles to guide policymakers in this crisis. These principles include:
• Government immigration agencies and law enforcement personnel should treat all refugees seeking asylum with dignity, fairness, compassion, and in full accordance with their due process rights in seeking asylum. Expedited processing risks diminishing due process and mistakes on legitimate asylum claims.
• Allocate emergency funding to provide humanitarian aid for refugees, to ensure resources for governmental workers to efficiently perform their jobs, and to allow existing refugee programs to continue.
• Preserve the bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to protect refugee children fleeing violence, exploitation, and possible death in their home countries.
• Reaffirm the nation’s right and responsibility to maintain secure borders and to intercept unauthorized migrants by targeted, proportional, and humane measures.
“We appeal to you and other policymakers on both the state and federal levels to eschew the bitterness of contemporary political rhetoric and instead uphold the best of American principles and serve the needs of the most despairing and vulnerable in our midst,” the Bishops’ letter stated.
The Texas Catholic Conference is the association of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas. We accredit the state's Catholic Schools, maintain records that reflect the work of the Church in Texas, and represent the Bishops in the public policy sphere. For information, visit the TCC website at http://www.txcatholic.org/.