Columbans Stand Against Executive Orders that Target Migrants and Refugees

January 25, 2017

Contact: Jenny Labbadia, Communications and Outreach Associate  

Office: 202-635-5812 Email: jlabbadia@columban.org     

Washington, DC—The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach condemns the administration’s new executive orders that target our migrant and refugee sisters and brothers and direct federal resources toward building a barrier on our southern border.

In light of these very troubling actions, we lift up the words of Pope Francis when he closed the Jubilee Year of Mercy in November 2016. He decried a global “epidemic of animosity and violence” where strangers, immigrants, and refugees are considered a threat, with the “status of an enemy.” He continued, “In God’s heart there are no enemies. God only has sons and daughters. We are the ones who raise walls, build barriers and label people.”

Serving and accompanying migrants and refugees is at the heart of the Columban mission. Columbans have lived and ministered in the border communities of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas for over twenty years. Globally, Columbans serve poor and marginalized communities in countries plagued by violence, poverty, and conflict. As a community, we see how these conditions drive people to migrate from their homes in search of security and safety. Today’s executive order presents false and inhumane responses to these conditions.

"We must always remember that we are a nation of migrants and refugees and we are called to stand in solidarity with them. Columbans have always welcomed migrants and refugees, we do so every day at the US--Mexico border," added the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach Director, Scott Wright.

As people of faith, we are called to both address the root causes of migration and seek policies of welcome toward our migrant sisters and brothers. We stand against any policies that seek to build a wall, inhumanely detain women and families, end sanctuary cities, conduct immigration raids, limit migration based on a person’s country of origin, and further militarize the border.

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The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach is the advocacy office for the Missionary Society of St. Columban. The Center serves as the line of communication between Columban missionaries serving in 15 countries around the world and policy makers in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to work towards a more just, peaceful, and environmentally sustainable world by engaging in the political process guided by our Catholic faith and the Gospel.