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News Story

January 26, 2017 — Yesterday,
President Donald Trump issued two Executive Orders that will impact immigrants
both in communities across the U.S. and those who approach our southern border
seeking refuge from violence.

The Jesuits of Canada
and the United States are profoundly concerned about the Administration’s
actions to dramatically increase detention and deportation, to further divide
the United States from its neighbors, and to disregard the judgment of local
authorities when it comes to protecting their communities.

Increasingly, migrants
come to the U.S. fleeing violence and insecurity. Our faith calls us to see
them, to understand their situations and to offer protection. Our partners at
the Kino Border Initiative
regularly accompany individuals and families who are denied access to
the due process and protection they deserve. We echo KBI’s deep concern
that President Trump’s actions will make individuals and families fleeing
violence even more vulnerable. The detention of people who come to the United
States in search of safety, those who are entitled to fair consideration of
their claims under international norms and U.S. law, is dehumanizing and does
not reflect our Catholic faith’s commitment to human rights.

We also join KBI in
expressing our concern that rapidly increasing border enforcement without
sufficient training and accountability does not increase safety and security. As
noted in our 2015 report, Our Values on the
, more than one in three deported migrants reported mistreatment or
abuse by Border Patrol agents, and the drastic increase in hiring without
proper screening and training was identified as an important contributing
factor. KBI’s continued documentation of violations to migrants’ rights
demonstrates a systemic lack of accountability for migrants’ rights. 

We are disheartened by
President Trump’s announced plans to escalate detention and deportation, to
impose on local law enforcement responsibility to participate in these harmful
processes, and to penalize localities that do not. In the communities we
serve across the U.S., we witness the way that detention and deportation break
down trust, sow fear and tear families apart. We stand for the dignity of
each person, for family unity and for the full participation of all in our

In the words of Pope
Francis, "All political activity must serve and promote the good of the
human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity." These
Executive Orders, far from promoting good and respecting dignity, will inflict
harm and further divisions. Today we reaffirm our solidarity with our migrant
sisters and brothers. We call upon all people of faith to join us in lifting
your voices and asking elected
officials to act with conscience. 

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