SSNDCP statement on the caravan of asylum seekers

The School Sisters of Notre Dame of the Central Pacific Province join with other women religious in expressing our deep concern that the Trump administration is considering an executive order to turn away families fleeing violence in Central America and block access to asylum, as the “caravan” of people seeking protection continues on their long journey to the United States. This “caravan” of asylum seekers represents a humanitarian crisis, not a threat to our national security. These are mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers who have been forced from their homes by unimaginable violence and insecurity; runaway corruption; droughts and floods linked to climate change. These are women and girls fleeing intolerable situations of domestic violence. These are young men and women who have no access to quality education and no hope of economic opportunity.

We reject the rhetoric of fear and policy of division that poisons our politics. We choose instead to embrace a dream for America that is filled with hope for a nation united in service of the common good. We stand with Pope Francis who calls us to “promote the dignity of all our brothers and sisters, particularly the poor and the excluded of society, those who are abandoned, immigrants and those who suffer violence and human trafficking.”

We urge the administration to manage refugee arrivals humanely and in a manner that respects their dignity and rights under U.S. and international law and to:

  • Allow migrants to approach our border and ask for protection in the United States and to be admitted for processing in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that asylum seekers have access to legal counsel and receive a fair resolution of their claim.
  • Guarantee that parents and children stay together. Holding families indefinitely in detention or detaining parents while releasing their children violates the values of this nation and the standards set forth in the Flores settlement.
  • Reject detention for those awaiting adjudication of their asylum petitions in favor of alternatives that are more humane and more cost efficient.
  • Direct Homeland Security to cooperate with faith-based and humanitarian organizations who are prepared to assist asylum-seekers.

The United States has a long and proud history of welcoming immigrants and sheltering refugees. We and other women religious have been blessed to be able to accompany and serve migrant communities across this country for a very long time. We will continue to welcome them as our national history demands and our faith requires.

Please join us in taking action by signing the petition to help stop the Trump administration’s executive order.

 

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School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100

info@ssndcp.org

 

© 2017 School Sisters of Notre Dame

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