WASHINGTON- The bishops along the border of the United States and Northern Mexico have issued a joint statement on the situation at the border of the two countries.
Their joint statement follows:
As U.S. and Mexican bishops along the border, we witness daily the dilemma that our migrant sisters and brothers face. For most, the decision to migrate is not motivated by an indifference toward their homeland or the pursuit of economic prosperity; it is a matter of life or death. The situation is all the more difficult for children.
Challenges such as these require humanitarian solutions. Undoubtedly, nations have the right to maintain their borders. This is vital to their sovereignty and self-determination. At the same time, there is a shared responsibility of all nations to preserve human life and provide for safe, orderly, and humane immigration, including the right to asylum.
For that reason, we renew our appeal to our governments, to political leaders, and civil society, that they work together to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate migrants in accordance with their intrinsic dignity, as well as work with other countries in the region to eliminate conditions that compel their citizens to resort to dangerous and irregular migration, producing long-term solutions. “Unlike disagreement and conflict,” Pope Francis reminds us, “persistent and courageous dialogue does not make headlines, but quietly helps the world to live much better than we imagine.”
Conscious of the importance of public health and safety, we encourage policies supported by sound scientific rationales. We maintain that family unity must be a vital component of any response. We ask that special attention be given to particularly vulnerable populations, such as children. We strongly urge that structures be put in place and reforms in our laws be made to both promote a welcoming culture for our sisters and brothers and respect the sovereignty and safety of our countries.
We pledge our support to continue helping our respective governments’ efforts to protect and care for families, as well as individuals who feel compelled to migrate. To accomplish this we commit to the ongoing work of Catholic organizations at the border and elsewhere, which are generously tended to by lay people, consecrated persons, and the clergy.
One year ago, on the eve of Easter Sunday, Pope Francis, exclaimed: “How beautiful it is to be Christians who offer consolation, who bear the burdens of others and who offer encouragement: messengers of life in a time of death.” As we once again enter into Holy Week, in which we experience the power of love in Christ’s Death and Resurrection, we feel encouraged to keep going, helping migrants, conscious that while the way ahead is long and arduous, it is not impossible if we journey together.
Most Reverend Mario E. Dorsonville
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
Chairman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration
Most Reverend Mark J. Seitz
Bishop of El Paso
Most Reverend James A. Tamayo
Bishop of Laredo
Most Reverend Edward J. Weisenburger
Bishop of Tucson
Most Reverend Daniel E. Flores
Bishop of Brownsville
Most Reverend Peter Baldacchino
Bishop of Las Cruces
Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy
Bishop of San Diego
Most Reverend Michael J. Sis
Bishop of San Angelo
Most Reverend Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS
Archbishop of San Antonio
Monsignor José Guadalupe Torres Campos
Bishop of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
Encargado de la Dimensión Episcopal de Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana (DEPMH)
Monsignor Jesús José Herrera Quiñones
Bishop of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua
Monsignor Alonso Garza Treviño
Bishop of Piedras Negras, Coahuila
Monsignor Enrique Sánchez Martínez
Bishop of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
Monsignor Eugenio Andrés Lira Rugarcía
Bishop of Matamoros, Tamaulipas
Monsignor Hilario González García
Bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila