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From: Vanessa Russell, Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities Atlanta
On June 17, President Trump announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were going to begin enforcement actions on thousands of immigrant families. Raids were scheduled for Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco targeting individuals who already have deportation orders. Individuals in the U.S. with lawful status or individuals who are actively fighting their immigration cases were not targets for the raids. Up to 2,000 individuals were expected to be impacted. In response to the President’s announcement, the Most Reverend Joe S. Vasquez, Bishop of Austin and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, issued a statement declaring:
“We recognize the right of nations to control their borders in a just and proportionate manner. However, broad enforcement actions instigate panic in our communities and will not serve as an effective deterrent to irregular migration. Instead, we should focus on the root causes in Central America that have compelled so many to leave their homes in search of safety and reform our immigration system with a view toward justice and the common good. We stand ready to work with the Administration and Congress to achieve those objectives.
During this unsettling time, we offer our prayers and support to our brothers and sisters, regardless of their immigration status, and recognizing their inherent dignity as children of God.”
Hours before the predawn raids were to begin, the President declared that the enforcement actions are being delayed for at least two weeks in order “to allow for negotiations on Capitol Hill regarding immigration reform.”
To assist families who might be effected, USCCB/MRS created a resource page that can be used to prepare and protect individuals in case they or a family member is detained by ICE. We are providing the information to you for use in your parish. The resource page is in English and Spanish. We hope you find these resources helpful.