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US bishops rap Trump’s plan for border wall

January 26, 2017

The US Conference of Catholic BIshops has taken issue with President Donald Trump’s plan for a wall at the Mexican border to stem the flow of immigrants.

Bishop Joe Vasquez, who chairs the US bishops’ committee on migration, said that building a wall “will only make migrants—especially vulnerable women and children—more susceptible to traffickers and smugglers.”

Bishop Vasquez also questioned Trump’s announced plan to deport undocumented immigrants. That approach, he said, “will tear families apart and spark fear and panic in communities.” While he acknowledged the need to establish security at international borders, the bishops denied that a “large-scale escalation of immigrant detention and intensive increased use of enforcement in immigrant communities is the way to achieve those goals.”


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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Jan. 29, 2017 3:55 PM ET USA

    If the bishop understood the Catholic concept of a social ethos, he would know that he has it completely backwards. When you incentivize illegal immigration by making it easy, you increase human traffickers to take advantage and exploit the vulerable.

  • Posted by: skall391825 - Jan. 27, 2017 5:33 PM ET USA

    Don't they care that they hurt the Church to gain favor with their illegal Democrats and Francis? Talk about clericalism!

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Jan. 27, 2017 11:25 AM ET USA

    Bishop Vasquez begs the question in his comments. He says that migrants will be more susceptible to traffickers and smugglers. However the issue is illegal migrants and the right of a nation to protect its borders! He avoids this issue. Mexico protects its borders. Canada protects its borders. Evidently on the U.S. is under scrutiny for protecting its borders. Bishop Vasquez and the Committee need to rethink their statement.

  • Posted by: unum - Jan. 27, 2017 8:17 AM ET USA

    We ask the Father to give us some bishops who want to be real bishops, not politicians or corporate managers. Today's bishops have burdened the faithful with corporate sized diocesan administrations and subsidiaries. They feel the need to get involved in government. Lord, send us some bishops who can teach as Jesus did, explaining the gospel in terms that apply to today's society. And, please Lord, sent them your Spirit to guide them to do your will for the people of God. Amen.

  • Posted by: Archpriest - Jan. 27, 2017 6:05 AM ET USA

    "Laws not enforced create contempt for the law, and contempt for the law destroys the order of peace with God the Lawgiver." -St. Justin

  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Jan. 27, 2017 5:24 AM ET USA

    We must stop the flow of illegal immigrants. We must remove criminals who are here illegally. We all must have mercy and kindness toward children brought here illegally or born of parents here illegally - - but we must discourage (and to the extent possible, prevent) these behaviors in the future.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Jan. 26, 2017 7:08 PM ET USA

    This is a properly phrased liberal viewpoint of a problem that Mexico and Mexico alone is responsible for. Mexico is not a poor country but it's poorly run (research it yourself if you doubt). Mexico's president seems more concerned about how to place his problems north as opposed to making necessary changes to improve the quality of life of its poor. You might argue the same applied to the great European immigration BUT the great majority were documented legals.

  • Posted by: stpetric - Jan. 26, 2017 6:56 PM ET USA

    So, what do the bishops propose about the problem of illegal immigration? Or is it (as I tend to suspect) that they simply don't understand illegal immigration to be a problem?

  • Posted by: Deacon0101 - Jan. 26, 2017 5:43 PM ET USA

    Though Bishop Vasquez acknowledges the need to establish security at international borders he offers no alternatives to do this. How would he answer the President's statement, "a nation without borders, is not a nation."? Furthermore no mention is made that the undocumented (illegal) immigrants to be deported have committed egregious crimes.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Jan. 26, 2017 5:02 PM ET USA

    I think the wall idea is sad, and the mass deportations idea even sadder, because it will rip families apart and the Church cannot support that. We, not only clergy but fellow laity, must be in solidarity with the immigrants in our Catholic parishes, regardless of their status; let us have mercy on them. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Many have children who grew up here and receive catechesis and first Communion and Confirmation here.

  • Posted by: feedback - Jan. 26, 2017 12:53 PM ET USA

    Dear Bishop Vasquez: secure national borders will make everyone, and especially vulnerable women and children, safer and less susceptible to traffickers and smugglers. Secure border was one of the main reasons why Americans elected Donald Trump. Desire to reestablish the nation's control over immigration is neither "racist" nor "xenophobic."