US Region of Columbans Calls on the Administration to Welcome More Refugees
September 18, 2018
In the midst of the world’s worst refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War, the Trump administration has just set the refugee admissions goal for the next fiscal year at 30,000, the lowest level in U.S. history. During the last year of the Obama administration, more than 85,000 refugees were welcomed to the United States, and an even higher goal of 110,000 was set before the 2016 elections.
The U.S. Region of the Missionary Society of St. Columban calls on the President and the Congress to reverse this decision, and to respond with a spirit of compassion that reflects the values of our country as a nation of immigrants who, over generations, have experienced the same persecution and violence as these refugees and found welcome in our country.
Historically, the United States has led the way in resettling tens of thousands of refugees each year. Under U.S. law, the White House is required to consult with Congress prior to setting the annual refugee admissions number. This has not happened yet, which means Congress must respond soon before this decision takes effect.
Currently, there are more than 68 million people forcibly displaced in the world today, including 25 million refugees, fleeing war, famine, religious persecution and natural disasters, and most of them are women and children. They are seeking safety, and the opportunity to rebuild their lives and raise their families.
Rev. Tim Mulroy, the U.S. Regional Director of the Missionary Society of St. Columban, called on the administration to reconsider its decision: “Columbans around the world have listened to the cry of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. We have been energized and blessed by our work in this area, and we are committed to continue accompanying and defending the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, wherever we encounter them.”
“It is our hope that the United States will reverse its decision and increase the number of admissions in a spirit of welcoming the stranger and collaborating globally for the good of all vulnerable people on the move.”
Pope Francis has been a global leader on urging nations to open their borders to refugees in that same spirit of compassion and "to embrace all those fleeing from war, hunger and persecution." Migrants and refugees “are risking their lives on a journey that is often long and perilous,” and face additional hardship when “fences and walls [are] built to keep them far from their goal."
As people of faith, we are called to both address the root causes of why people are forced to flee their homes and to support policies that welcome refugees with compassion. We must build walls instead of bridges, and honor the values of our nation and our diverse faith traditions to respond with compassion to migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.
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About the Columban Center
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 16 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.