Along with representatives of Catholic charities, five Catholic bishops have called on the President to tackle the “disappearance of compassion” on the border.
The letter was signed by Archbishops John Wester of Santa Fe and Bishops Robert McElroy of San Diego, Mark Seitz of El Paso, Edward Weisenbuger of Tucson and Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces and representatives of the Kino Border Initiative, Hope Border Institute, Catholic Charities of Souther. New Mexico, Diocesan Migran & Migrant Refugee Services and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande, among others.
After the violence on Capitol Hill earlier in January, the signatories called for an end to divisive politics. The politics, they wrote, that has befome “unmoored from love of neighbour”. And they praised Biden for challenging “white supremacy and extremism”.
Invoking Pope Francis’s call to “rediscover the knowledge that as a people we have a shared destination”, they urged a policy grounded in dialogue.
“We must urgently begin a new process of mutual engagement that allows us to rediscover as sisters and brothers those whose dreams have been shattered by broken immigration policy,” they said. “We must re-learn to see those who continue to flee to the border as neighbors in need.”
Promising to work with the Biden Administration, they hope to “reweave a common good which transcends borders”.
“Together, with the most vulnerable, let us reimagine our common future in the United States,” they continued,” on the US-Mexico border and with our neighbors in Latin America.”
Alongside the two-page letter the undersigned proposed a framework for reform of US immigration law.
The framework outlines a roll back of Trump’s pandemic-era legislation, such as the Migrant Protection Protocols and Title 42. In its place, it requests for the reintroduction of Central American Minors Program, introduced by Obama, whichpermitted migrant parents to request refugee status for their children.
Lastly, the document calls on the Biden Administration to abandon the policy of deterrence, offer more legal avenues for migration and a response and “take bold leadership” for those people displaced by climate change.
Within hours of the publication of the letter, Mexican Bishop Jose Torres called for an investigation into the discovery of 19 burned bodies in Northern Mexico. The bodies are suspected to be of Guatemalan migrants.
In a letter to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Torres called for a change to “repressive immigration policies”.
“It is a priority that the federal government establishes fair, safe and orderly immigration policies,” he wrote.