(June 28, 2018) The U.S. Region of the Missionary Society of St. Columban is disappointed in the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold President Trump’s Travel Ban. The Administration’s most recent ban bars visitors and immigrants from five Muslim majority nations – Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen – as well as Venezuela and North Korea.
Through our work in 15 countries around the world, Columbans are committed to inter-religious dialogue. We believe the Travel Ban upheld by the Supreme Court only serves to build walls rather than bridges, particularly with our Muslim sisters and brothers, and contributes to a culture of fear and xenophobia that is contrary to Gospel values.
Columbans affirm the statement made by Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty: “The Catholic Church takes a strong stand against religious discrimination, and we will continue to advocate for the rights of people of all faiths, as well as serve migrants and refugees through our various ministries.”
While the current ban does not directly affect the U.N. program of resettling refugees in the United States, the overall impact of previous travel bans has been to sharply reduce the U.S.’s commitment to welcoming immigrants and refugees from targeted countries, such as Syria. At a time when the number of refugees in the world is the highest ever, we should be welcoming our refugee sisters and brothers, not closing our borders to those who are fleeing persecution, violence and war.
As Catholics, we proclaim that human life is sacred, and human dignity is the foundation of a moral vision for society. As Columbans, we stand committed to welcoming people of all religious backgrounds and oppose any policies that seek to discriminate against anyone.
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