Press Release: Franciscans Outraged by DHS Announcement of New Deportation Rules

For Immediate Release
February 21, 2017
Contact: Janine Walsh
Communications Coordinator
(203) 685-1856

Press Release: Franciscans Outraged  by DHS Announcement of New Deportation Rules

We Stand in Solidarity with Undocumented Immigrants Who Now Face an Even Bigger Threat

Washington, D.C. - The Franciscan Action Network opposes the harsh new policies on immigration that have come out of President Trump’s Executive Orders. These policies support deplorable, morally repugnant, aggressive treatment of immigrants and, considering ICE actions already underway, we cannot trust that any part of their implementation will be carried out fairly or rationally.

The announcement calls for expedited removals, targeting for low-level infractions and misdemeanors, and substantially increased numbers of immigration officials and customs agents, all of which perpetuate fear in the immigrant community. By hastening and increasing deportations, these new guidance documents will tear families apart. There are no priorities under these new rules, which are radical departures from protocol under the Bush and Obama administrations. Even more concerning is the fact that the legality of these measures is questionable, as they eliminate due process. Recent ICE activity has violated the sensitive locations memo, which includes houses of worship, schools, hospitals, and adjacent locations.

Further, the Trump Administration has stated that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients will not be affected, but elimination of priorities in these DHS Memos leaves this in doubt. Through its actions, the administration has made it clear that they are intent on mass deportation.

“These extreme new DHS Memos run counter not only to faith principles, but to humanitarian concerns and to America’s proclaimed commitment to ‘liberty and justice for all,’” states Sr. Marie Lucey, FAN Associate Director. “They legitimize what is already taking place in raids and arrests across the country, striking fear in the hearts of millions of immigrants. As Christians, as Franciscans, as US Americans, we stand and act in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters.”

Over 800 congregations of different faiths have joined the Sanctuary movement, sparking widespread conversation across the country, in order to pledge their support to push back against these orders and protect the immigrant communities that are such a vital part of our society. As members of the faith community, we must show our immigrant sisters and brothers that we stand with them as allies in protecting their rights and well-being.