Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconNews
line break icon

Mexican border “not a war zone,” say US bishops



John Burger - published on 04/10/18 - updated on 04/27/18

Eight Catholic leaders along US-Mexico frontier react to Trump's plans to deploy military

The eight bishops of U.S. dioceses along the southern border are “deeply concerned” by the announcement that the National Guard will be deployed on the border.

The bishops released a joint statement April 6 decrying “continued militarization of the U.S./Mexico Border,” charging that it “distorts the reality of life on the border.”

“This is not a war zone but instead is comprised of many peaceful and law-abiding communities that are also generous in their response to human suffering,” said the statement, signed by the archbishop of San Antonio, the bishops of Brownsville, San Angelo, Laredo, and El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; San Diego, California, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The letter was issued in the wake of news around Easter that President Donald J. Trump was alarmed by a “caravan” of migrants moving north through Mexico to escape dangerous conditions in Honduras and other Central American countries. Many of the migrants have said that they plan to seek asylum in the United States.

In a separate statement, Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso asked, “Is our nation reacting to a ragtag group of Hondurans who are fleeing for their lives seeking refuge?  They are fleeing from a nation controlled by narco-trafficking gangs flush with cash provided by our nation’s insatiable appetite for illegal drugs.”

In their letter, the border bishops acknowledge the “right of nations to control and secure their borders [and] the need of nations to respect the rule of law,” but note that U.S. law “provides that those arriving to our country fleeing persecution are entitled to due-process as their claims are reviewed.”

“Seeking refuge from persecution and violence in search of a peaceful life for oneself and one’s family is not a crime,” the bishops state. “Our faith calls us to respond with compassion to those who suffer, and to live in a spirit of solidarity with all human beings. We remain hopeful that our local, state and federal officials will work collaboratively and prudently in the implementation of this deployment, ensuring that the presence of the National Guard is measured and not disruptive to community life. We are also deeply concerned that at this time divisive rhetoric often promotes the dehumanization of immigrants, as if all were threats and criminals. We urge Catholics and people of good will to look past the dehumanizing rhetoric regarding immigrants and remember that they are a vulnerable population, our neighbors, and our sisters and brothers in Christ.”

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.