Public Statements

STATEMENT ON RECENT IMMIGRATION POLICY CHANGES

“The federal administration’s recent decision to separate children from their parents at the border is cruel and misguided. It violates our core Catholic belief in the importance of the unity of the family as fundamental to the preservation of human dignity and the common good of society. It also undermines our nation’s legacy and duty to preserve and strengthen family values.  This, and the administration’s other decision to exclude victims of domestic and organized violence from asylum protection goes against our history as a refuge for those cast out and it diminishes our legacy as a nation built on immigrants’ hopes and energies.  

We know how the wholesale reversal of asylum policy will leave our most vulnerable clients with no legal recourse and a broken future.  Catholic Charities each year helps thousands of unaccompanied children in multiple ways to re-unite with their families in this country and represents hundreds of victims of violence and domestic abuse in their asylum cases. We see first-hand the deep suffering and potential long-term trauma felt by parents and young children who are separated from each other and transferred by Homeland Security to places far away.   Near-sighted, mean-spirited and not fact-based policies like these cause harm as they appeal to and exacerbate the worst instincts of some.  They do little more.  

Our Catholic values support secure borders, curtailing illegal immigration, and a fair and generous legal immigration system that provides suitable remedies for past transgressions.  However, these cannot serve as justification for the deterrence, separation, detention and exclusion policies toward certain immigrants and refugees.  Our laws and policies must be balanced and fair, reflecting the aspirations of a just and compassionate society that upholds the dignity of each person.  Catholic Charities will continue to stand in support of our brothers and sisters and offer our services to assist during this distressing moment, and beyond.”

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan
Executive Director, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York