May 26, 2016
The Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is alarmed and disturbed by reports that the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will begin a new series of immigrant deportations. Whether these are large-scale raids or individual deportations of mothers and children, they are deplorable. Like the ICE enforcement actions in early January, this anticipated operation is expected to focus on Central Americans who are fleeing from violence in their home countries. The insistence of the Department of Homeland Security that ICE is following the law fails to justify actions which send mothers and children back to violent situations where they may be subjected to violence and even death.
“As a faith organization, FAN upholds the dignity of all persons who deserve to be treated with respect and compassion,” states Sister Marie Lucey, Director of Advocacy, “We reject the argument that a man-made regulation prevails over the right of people to seek safety from violence. Faulty laws should be changed. The Administration continues to pursue detention and deportation policies rather than acknowledge the root causes that compel people to seek safety in the United States.”
FAN agrees with immigrant and faith organizations who maintain that these migrants should have access to legal representation and be given the opportunity to present asylum claims at hearings in immigration court. Even if no raids occur in a particular location, reports of such actions cause families across the country to live in fear of being separated. Both actual deportations and creation of an environment of fear are contrary to American values and core faith values of love and compassion.