PRESS RELEASE: Franciscans Repulsed by Senate Proposed RAISE Act

August 3, 2017
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Janine Walsh
(203) 685-1856

Franciscans Repulsed by Senate Proposed RAISE Act

White House Backed Proposal Would Dramatically Impact Legal Immigration Levels

Washington, D.C. - The Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is disgusted by yesterday's announcement of the RAISE Act, proposed in the Senate and endorsed by the White House. FAN opposes any litmus tests that would be put on immigrants, especially those that would require English, limit immigration to family members, or prohibit those fleeing from war or persecution from entering the United States. As a nation of immigrants, we're better than requiring English for legal residency, not allowing family members to emigrate with their families or putting strict caps on the number of refugees escaping war and persecution admitted to the United States.

"The Franciscan Action Network continues to call on the administration to keep families together," said Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF, FAN Associate Director. "The RAISE Act is another instance of the administration discriminating against immigrants, in this case, by their ability to speak English or by evaluating their familial relationships. It's no better than banning immigrants of a certain country or religion to enter the United States or tearing apart mothers and fathers from their American born children. It is discriminatory and un-American."

Sr. Marie went on to say that "The provision that caps refugee levels is counter to our moral and humanitarian principles. Refugees are escaping war, violence, and persecution. They deserve safety. This provision is counter intuitive to our faith that calls on us to 'welcome the stranger' and our principles as Americans as we are all part of a country founded by immigrants."

Instead of this damaging legislation, FAN encourages both the White House and all members of Congress to put their full support behind the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017, comparable versions of which are currently in both the House and Senate. FAN will continue to oppose any and all efforts to restrict legal immigration, put forth by either the legislative or executive branches of government.


Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of Saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform United States public policy related to peace making, care for creation, poverty, and human rights. For more information: