Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark has a new article on Trump’s immigration ban:
The stark, clear and urgent language of Scripture impels my brother bishops and me to call on the federal government to alter its executive actions, and instead craft a well-conceived and comprehensive approach to immigration and refugee-resettlement reform that both protects our people and national security and treats newcomers and refugees with respect, mercy, love and kindness.
The reasons for our objections and our call for a better approach are easy to understand. Any ban that endangers the lives of people who have served alongside U.S. forces in Iraq, for example, can only result in Iraqi men, women and children being killed solely because they chose to help the United States. As a result, U.S. forces will be more at risk, because Iraqis who at one time would work with them will refuse to do so out of fear.
These executive actions tear families apart. Among the more moving moments during the past weekend were television images of people, already approved by the government to live or travel here, being stopped and led away in airports, and family members learning that their loved ones – children, wives, husbands, siblings, friends – were removed from airplanes and detained.
In addition, the actions have dashed the hopes of many thousands of people in refugee camps fleeing violence and oppression in places like Syria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These people – the overwhelming number of them children – have passed extensive U.S. government scrutiny and have, for several years, been waiting in often-dangerous conditions for an available flight and settlement here. All too often, they, too, now remain separated from family members already here….
The steps the government is instituting are a challenge to religious liberty and directly contradictory to one of the principles on which this country was founded….
I always pray that the March for Life also will set on fire the hearts of lawmakers, justices and government administrators to work for true protection of life – everything from access to health care, to educational and employment opportunities, to protecting other vulnerable adults and those at the margins of our society, to reforming our immigration and refugee programs to ensure that all are treated with dignity, respect and love.