congregation of the sisters of st joseph of peace
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Statement on Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy

June 19, 2018

Consistent with our 2016 congregational statement: Welcome Immigrants and Refugees, we, the Congregation Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace express our grave concerns about the zero tolerance immigration policies being implemented at our southern border. No desire for increased border security justifies the separation of children from their parents. Such actions may cause irreparable damage to young children. No policy that so cruelly divides families desperately seeking refuge can be considered just.

We also join our concerns about changing asylum policy to those of the U.S. Catholic Bishops expressed by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo:

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 system to preserve and protect the right to life.

We reiterate: 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 charism is expressed in the words, “seeking peace through justice.” Any immigration policy that demeans the human person or divides a human family is not just and will never provide the peace and security we all seek. We are one human family.

We know God would never abandon children, we will not abandon our children at the border.

Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
    yet I will not forget you.   
Is 49:15-16

Statement on Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy

"So Christ is our model and in order to imitate Him we have to do strange things – things that seem almost inexplicable, but at the last days, when our work is taken off the loom of life, we shall see the beauty that comes into our soul by this work."

Mother Evangelista (Honoria Gaffney)