A Call to Stop the Inhumane Treatment of
As we enter into our Fourth of July celebrations recalling the values and aspirations our Founding Fathers had for our new country and its people, the Roman Union Ursulines in the United States are both saddened and appalled at the humanitarian crisis at our southern border. Like countless others, we denounce the unconscionable mistreatment of children at the US-Mexico border while in US custody. We call on members of Congress and the current Administration to take all measures possible to provide these children with the basic necessities of food, water, shelter, health care and above all, to reunite these children with their families.
The world watches in horror the accounts in the media of the death of children along with the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions at the detention facilities. Are we a country that remains silent and supports these atrocities or will we continue to be a place of refuge for children and families fleeing from poverty, violence and persecution?
Congress must act NOW to protect these children and families by addressing this humanitarian crisis at the border caused by the policies of the present Administration: separation of children from their parents, the ongoing detention of families; and measures to slow down and prevent asylum-seekers from making their claims. Policies must be enacted based on human rights and that ensure dignity and justice for all.
On this Independence Day, 2019, do the words of the Declaration of Independence live on in our hearts and actions: “We hold these truths…that all are created equal”?
July 3, 2019
Roman Union Ursulines of the United States
The Roman Union Ursuline Sisters of the USA hold in prayer our Jewish brothers and sisters who today begin laying to rest the 11 victims who died in Saturday’s massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue.
May we recommit to spreading only peace and love, never violence and hate. May we put aside our differences and rejoice in our shared humanity. May we never accept the unthinkable as inevitable. Above all, may we value the sacredness of each life.
Statement on Refugee Caravan
The Roman Union Ursulines in the United States support this statement and encourage others to do so.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is deeply troubled by President Trump’s continued denigration of those fleeing untenable situations in their home countries. These are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers who have been forced from their homes by unimaginable violence and insecurity; runaway corruption; and droughts and floods linked to climate change. These are women and girls fleeing intolerable situations of domestic violence. These are young men and women who have no access to quality education and no hope of economic opportunity.
These are courageous people who have rejected cultures of corruption and exploitation. They are traveling the same road trod by our forbearers who fled tyranny and violence in search of the American dream. They are people of hope and promise who only want the opportunity to contribute their toil and talent to this nation.
We reject the president’s rhetoric of fear and policy of division that poisons our politics. We choose instead to embrace a dream for America that is filled with hope for a nation united in service of the common good. We stand with Pope Francis who calls us to “promote the dignity of all our brothers and sisters, particularly the poor and the excluded of society, those who are abandoned, immigrants and those who suffer violence and human trafficking.”
We urge the administration to manage refugee arrivals humanely and in a manner that respects their dignity and rights under U.S. and international law and to:
· Allow migrants to approach our border and ask for protection in the United States and to be admitted for processing in a timely manner.
· Ensure that asylum seekers have access to legal counsel and receive a fair resolution of their claim.
· Guarantee that parents and children stay together after they are apprehended. Holding families indefinitely in detention or detaining parents while releasing their children violates the values of this nation and the standards set forth in the Flores settlement.
· Eschew detention of those awaiting adjudication of their asylum petitions in favor of alternatives that are more humane and more cost efficient.
· Direct Homeland Security to cooperate with faith-based and humanitarian organizations who are prepared to assist asylum-seekers.
The United States has a long and proud history of welcoming immigrants and sheltering refugees. Women religious have been blessed to be able to accompany and serve migrant communities across this country for a very long time. We will continue to welcome them as our national history demands and our faith requires.
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic sisters in the United States. The conference has nearly 1350 members, who represent more than 45,600 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
Statement of Support of LCWR’s Statement Against Muslim Ban
As members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Roman Union Ursuline Leadership Teams and their members in the United States endorse LCWR’s statement, expressing disappointment in Court’s decision to uphold President Trump’s Muslim ban:
The Leadership Conference of Woman Religious is deeply troubled by the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of President Donald J. Trump v. State of Hawaii that challenged the legality of the Trump Administration’s third attempt at a Muslim ban. The court’s flawed ruling adds to the climate of fear and anti-Muslim sentiment in this country and threatens the values upon which our national community is built.
As women of faith, as Catholic sisters, we believe that all people are created in God’s image, all are worthy of respect, and all are entitled to the protection of their human rights and religious liberty. We strongly object to President Trump’s continued attempts to use his authority to create policy by fiat, particularly when that policy is used to deny access to our Muslim sisters and brothers because of their religion. Such discrimination violates our deeply held faith beliefs and is inimical to the principles upon which this nation was founded.
LCWR joined other faith-based groups in filing amicus briefs in this case challenging the government-imposed anti-Muslim discrimination. When religious-based discrimination is permitted, especially when sanctioned by those at the highest levels of government, the free-exercise of religion by members of all faiths is threatened.
We will stand with the Muslim community and all who are subjected to the deeply troubling discriminatory policies of this administration. We call on Congress to exercise its power to challenge the President’s offensive and dangerous policy and ensure that the rights guaranteed by the Constitution are upheld.
We concur with Justice Sotomayor dissent:
The United States of America is a Nation built upon the promise of religious liberty. Our Founders honored that core promise by embedding the principle of religious neutrality in the First Amendment. The Court’s decision today fails to safeguard that fundamental principle. It leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns.
St. Angela Merici, our foundress, encourages us, “Love them all because they are God’s children …Welcome them and bear with all of them impartially.”