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CSJP Statement on President Obama’s Executive Action about Immigrants

The Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace wants to express our appreciation for the actions taken last evening by President Obama to remove the threat of deportation for millions of families who have been living and working in the United States for years. It is past time that some action was taken for the many families who were living under the threat of imminent deportation. Most especially, it is important to end the fear of children that when they come home from school or work their parents may not be there.

It is our belief that the actions taken were well within the power of the President and will serve the best interests of this nation. His actions are measured and modest. We still see the need for a comprehensive plan to overhaul this nation's broken immigration system. That is the work we hope to see congress take up in good faith and with compassion for all.

As Catholic sisters and associates we believe strongly in supporting families and do all in our power to keep them together. Families, in all their contemporary varieties, are the basic cells of society and need to be protected. Families are created in love and it is in the family that the gift of love is first shared and eventually passed on to another generation. America needs strong families.

We have a great love for immigrants. Our sisters first came to the U.S. as immigrants 130 years ago to work with indigent immigrants already here. Many of our sisters serving here in the U.S are immigrants themselves. Today, our work joins us to the poor and marginalized, many of whom are immigrants.

We also believe that the gift of creation, Earth itself, is a gift that was given without borders. We are all one and should not let borders get in the way of realizing our oneness. Immigrants have been a great blessing to the United States over its history, and we have no doubt that today's immigrants will continue that blessing. Economists tell us that they will be a help to our struggling national economy.

President Obama's actions, though not helping all who are in the country without proper papers, will hopefully be a first step in welcoming all who are already here. In that hope, we give thanks to God.

"So yes, we are forever beginning, and the best we can do is be very grateful that each new beginning is one more chance to grow. "

Margaret Byrne, CSJP