In less than a year, at least six children are believed to have died while in the custody of immigration officials along the border. While immigration along the U.S. southern border once involved almost exclusively men looking for work, women with children or entire families are now the ones regularly making the dangerous trek, fleeing poverty and violence.
“I know this gathering has been dominated by the question of abuse and we have to deal with (it),” Bishop Flores said in an interview with Catholic News Service June 12. “It has to be clear that this is something that will not be tolerated.”
However, he said, the church also must “express” itself more strongly about its teachings when it comes to migrants and the situation along the border is one affecting the most vulnerable in society, including many children.
“I feel that as a (bishops’) conference, we must express ourselves more strongly when it comes to the dignity of immigrants, to say that they are not criminals, that they are vulnerable families and we need to invite all the governments involved, not just the U.S., to defend the migrant as a human being, to not cast the person aside as someone who doesn’t matter and is a problem,” Bishop Flores said.