April 21, 2020
Media Contact:
Janine Walsh, walsh@franciscanaction.org, 203-685-1856

Pandemic No Excuse for Immigration Ban

Franciscan Action Network Calls on Administration to Stop Using the Pandemic as Cover for Shameful Policies

Washington, DC – The Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is appalled by the latest manifestation of the Trump Administration’s xenophobia, making another midnight policy announcement to suspend all immigration into the country. We call on the administration to stop playing politics with the pandemic to advance its shameful agenda.

Earlier this week, FAN was one of 224 faith-based organizations and 1,025 faith leaders who signed on to a letter sent to the Trump administration, Congress, and Governors, telling them that “immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers must be included in our emergency response [to COVID-19] if we are to assist everyone who is in need.” To ban immigrants is morally reprehensible and distinctly unAmerican.

The administration has used the pandemic as cover for multiple detrimental policy changes: from gutting various environmental regulations and extending the separation of children from parents on the border to defunding the World Health Organization. These despicable policies, none of which were germane to our nation’s concerns regarding the pandemic, were enacted without the consent of Congress and raise troubling questions about democracy, rule of law, and Constitutional overreach by the executive branch.

FAN’s Executive Director, Stephen Schneck asked, “Can neither the courts nor Congress hold this administration to account? Is the pandemic suddenly an excuse for using executive orders to bypass due process and separation of powers to govern by fiat?” Schneck continued, “We stand with immigrants!”

As Franciscans and Christians, we are morally obliged to welcome immigrants. We join Pope Francis in denouncing actions which are “…more and more elitist, more cruel towards the excluded,” and call on the administration to reverse this cruel and unAmerican decision.


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