Columbans Urge Just & Humane Border Policies

November 1, 2018
Washington, DC
UPDATED to reflect the Administration's 11/08/2018 proclamation 

In response to remarks from the Administration on intended changes to immigration policy, the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach releases the following statement:

“You shall love the stranger, for you were once strangers in the land of Egypt.” 
-Leviticus, 24: 22

As a Society that serves marginalized communities in countries plagued by poverty and conflict, we see how these conditions drive people to migrate away from their homes. As people of faith, God calls on us to serve the needs of migrants and refugees everywhere and address the root causes of migration.  

The administration's proclamation restricting access to asylum for migrants arriving at the south border ignores this sacred obligation and disregards our legal obligation to provide access to protection.

Policymakers should instead look to the faith communities along the border that continue to provide assistance, care, and support to those who have suffered so much in their efforts to protect and provide for their families.  

Columbans consider it a blessing to accompany and support border communities and those arriving at the southern border. We believe our federal policy should reflect the same welcome and respect that border communities themselves show.  

This includes:

  • ensuring the U.S. fully complies with its own laws and international obligations to uphold access to the asylum system for all, 
  • abstaining from inhumane and costly attempts to further militarize our border,  
  • fully utilizing community-based alternatives to detention for migrants and families,
  • and basing rhetoric in reality and compassion instead of stoking fear.  

As Pope Francis said when he closed the Jubilee Year of Mercy, “In God’s heart there are no enemies. God only has sons and daughters. We are the ones to raise walls, build barriers, and label people.” Columbans call on all policymakers to make tangible "the heart of God" by supporting just and humane immigration policies. 


For more information
Contact: Wesley Cocozello, Communications & Outreach Coordinator
Office: 202-635-5814 | Email:

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. Columban missionaries have been accompanying border communities for over 20 years.