STATEMENT OF THE SSJ-TOSF SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE: CARAVAN AT THE BORDER

28 Nov

The Social Justice Committee of the Sisters of St. Joseph, TOSF opposes all efforts to deny immigrants the right to apply for asylum in the United States. 

(photo from New York Times)

We have heard the news about tear gas being deployed against immigrants at the border between the United States and Mexico. This caravan includes children. A small group of the caravan broke off to try to outrun the Mexican police and get into the U.S. Our president has threatened to completely close the border. 

“Asylum is a protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or at the border who meet the international law definition of a ‘refugee.’ The United Nations 1951 Convention and1967 Protocol define a refugee as a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future ‘on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.’ Congress incorporated this definition into U.S. immigration law in the Refugee Act of 1980.” American Immigration Council May 2018 

Through attempts to deny entry for those seeking asylum, the U.S. is breaking both international and US law. In order to remedy this, we call upon Congress to pass a comprehensive Immigration Law and to obey the laws currently in place.  

Why are they coming here? Many are fleeing from violence in their country where they might be targeted for their political beliefs or by drug cartels. It was discovered in the 1980s that the U.S. held some responsibility for this violence through the training provided by the School of the Americas. Two weeks ago the demonstration against the School of the Americas was held in Nogales, Arizona to make that connection. 

As we enter the Advent and Christmas season, let us recall that the Holy Family also needed to flee their homeland because of persecution and enter the land of Egypt. Let us pray for all involved with this situation that peace and civility might direct their decision making. 

Please contact your member of Congress to ask that they work to pass a comprehensive immigration law including a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.

 

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