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USCCB: strong opposition to President Trump’s executive order on refugees

January 30, 2017

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration announced his strong opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees.

The order, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “virtually shuts down the refugee admissions program for 120 days, reduces the number of refugees to be admitted to the United States this year from 110,000 to 50,000 individuals, and indefinitely suspends the resettlement of Syrian refugees.”

“We strongly disagree with the Executive Order’s halting refugee admissions,” said Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin. “We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope.”

“We will continue to engage the new administration, as we have all administrations for the duration of the current refugee program, now almost 40 years,” he continued. “We will work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed in collaboration with Catholic Charities without sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans, and to ensure that families may be reunified with their loved ones.”

Bishop Vásquez also took issue with President Trump’s ban on the admission of Syrian refugees and preferential treatment of religious minorities suffering from religious persecution:

The United States has long provided leadership in resettling refugees. We believe in assisting all those who are vulnerable and fleeing persecution, regardless of their religion. This includes Christians, as well as Yazidis and Shia Muslims from Syria, Rohingyas from Burma, and other religious minorities. However, we need to protect all our brothers and sisters of all faiths, including Muslims, who have lost family, home, and country. They are children of God and are entitled to be treated with human dignity. We believe that by helping to resettle the most vulnerable, we are living out our Christian faith as Jesus has challenged us to do.

 
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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: feedback - Jan. 30, 2017 8:02 PM ET USA

    Open borders, unrestricted illegal immigration, and unchecked immigration from places known for generating Islamic terrorism, have nothing to do with "welcoming newcomers and refugees" or being "an act of love and hope." This kind of crazy thinking became new normal under Obama.

  • Posted by: ALC - Jan. 30, 2017 5:04 PM ET USA

    The USCCB needs to get over itself. The Trump EO is not unChristian or inhumane. It is a national security issue and illegal immigrants and refugees from terrorists countries do not have a right to be here. It is a privilege to come to the U.S. and we have a duty to protect our citizens and have secure borders.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Jan. 30, 2017 4:04 PM ET USA

    where is the Bishop's concern for Christians from the Middle East? Maybe they are seeking a balance between Mexican Christians and Moslems. I think the Bishops have lost their collective minds. They certainly do not speak for me on this topic, for sure, and many others as well. They can't even get their theology straight on other important matters, let alone the will of the people and their safety.

  • Posted by: MWCooney - Jan. 30, 2017 8:15 AM ET USA

    Someone please help me find the USCCB statement opposing Obama's identical order banning Iraqi immigrants-refugees in 2009. Didn't happen? No surprise there, from a too large number of the Church's hierarchy (or "journalists," or celebrities, or "educators") who have firmly placed themselves in line with the forces who hate the United States and (especially) the Catholic Church.