May 17, 2019
Janine Walsh, Communications Coordinator
Franciscans Respond to Trump Administration’s Immigration Plan
“Go Back to the Drawing Board”
Washington, D.C. - Yesterday afternoon, President Trump outlined his plan for “modernizing our immigration system for a stronger America,” where he aims to impose more new security measures at the border, dismantle the asylum process, and vastly scale back the system of family-based immigration which has allowed immigrants to bring their spouses and children to live with them. Over the last two years, this administration’s immigration policy has resulted in a ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries, separation of families at the border, closing the border to asylum seekers and a desire to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Franciscans have a genuine love and respect for the poor and vulnerable and emphasize the dignity of the human person, especially in its social nature. It is through these values that we work alongside and advocate for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. We remember our history, when this country was being built...by immigrants who left their homes to make a new life in “the land of the free.” Mr. Trump seems to forget that America is stronger when we embrace our diversity and work together.
Considering that, under this new plan, obtaining a visa would require English proficiency, educational attainment, and passing a civics exam, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) believes this new policy is still heavily supportive of a white dominance in our country. Such a requirement is not in keeping with the Gospel of Jesus, who welcomed all, even the Samaritan.
“At FAN, we advocate to meet the human needs of all vulnerable people, including immigrants and refugees as well as people living in poverty in our country. We believe that continued policies and funding for enforcement measures rather than for human needs is not only contrary to the values we profess, but is also ineffective in addressing the flow of migrants to our borders,” said FAN Associate Director, Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF.
This latest plan sounds very much like the policies of the last two years, which have served only as a dangerous narrative seeking to dehumanize our immigrant neighbors. We do believe there are better ideas for modernizing our immigration system and we urge the president and his administration to go back to the drawing board and find solutions for the common good.