On World Refugee Day, June 20, 2018, the Roman Union Ursulines in the United States join with countless others in decrying the actions of our government in the zero-tolerance immigration policy being implemented at our southern border. A policy that cruelly divides families desperately seeking refuge cannot be considered just. A desire for increased border security cannot justify separation of children from their parents. Actions such as these may cause irreparable damage to young children – children who are our future.
We join with the U.S. Catholic Bishops in expressing our concern about changing asylum policy which Daniel Cardinal DiNardo has expressed:
The attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum seekers to preserve and protect the right to life.
We recognize and affirm: Nations have the right to control immigration and an obligation to provide safety for citizens, but they do not have the right to close borders to all refugees and asylum seekers who are in need.
Our General Chapter 2013 statement urges us, “in solidarity and compelled by the Gospel, we open our hearts to the cries of our earth and its people.” We are particularly mindful of refugees, immigrants especially women and children. St. Angela Merici, our foundress, reminds us to “love them all…because they are God’s children…Welcome them and bear with all of them impartially.”