Statement on Children at the Border

The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph Leadership Council joins with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Sr. Teresa Maya, the President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), and members of many faith traditions in calling for an end to the separation of children from their parents at the border where they are seeking asylum. 

In May 2018, the U.S. Government began prosecuting migrants who illegally crossed the United States border from Mexico. Their children are then detained separately from their parents.

We agree with Sr. Teresa Maya, CCVI, President of the LCWR when she states, “as women of faith, as Catholic sisters, we strongly oppose the Trump administration’s decision to forcibly separate parents from their children in an effort to punish families seeking safety in the United States. Mothers and fathers are taking tremendous risks to bring their children to safety. These are families fleeing violence and death in their home countries. They have every right to ask for protection in the United States and the Trump administration is legally and morally obligated to give them a fair chance to seek asylum. It is impossible to imagine the fear of a child being ripped from the arms of her mother or the pain of a father watching a stranger take his son. It is cruel and inhumane, and it must stop. Our faith demands it and our national values require it. We are better than this.”

The president of the USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, declared, “Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together.” During his remarks June 13, 2018, at the USCCB General Assembly gathering in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, DiNardo added, “Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”

We call on Congress and the office of the Presidency of the United States of America to stop this deplorable practice immediately.