Columbans Welcome President’s Immigration Executive Action, Urges Congress to Act

November 20, 2014
Contact: Susan Gunn, Communications and Outreach Associate
Office: 202-635-5812, Email:

WASHINGTON, DC—On Thursday, President Obama unveiled his much-anticipated Executive Order on immigration, which will grant 5 million of our undocumented immigrant brothers and sisters relief from deportation. The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, which represents the social justice priorities of the Missionary Society of St. Columban, commends the President’s effort to reduce the suffering and separation of families.

Columban Priests on the U.S.-Mexico Border witness the hardship of deportation in their community on a daily basis. By providing an expanded deferred action program, millions of children will no longer live in fear that they will come home to find their parents taken from them, people that have contributed to the U.S. economy for years will be a step closer to attaining dignity of work, and additional youth that have been in the U.S. for the majority of their lifetime will have the chance to come out of the shadows.

The migration of peoples continues to be a critical concern for Columban Missionaries throughout the world. As was addressed in the Columban Society-wide Statement on Migration:

Columban Missionaries serve economically poor and marginalized communities globally, often in countries plagued by poverty, injustice, climate disasters, armed conflict, and religious, inter-ethnic or political persecution. These conditions drive people to migrate away from their homes in search of economic and human security. We believe that we are called to both serve the needs of migrants everywhere, and to address the root causes of migration so that people and their families have the choice to remain at home.

Today, we echo the words of Pope Francis, “Dear migrants and refugees! You have a special place in the heart of the Church, and you help her to enlarge her heart and to manifest her motherhood towards the entire human family.”

Scott Wright, director of the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach said: “The President’s action last night was a “beginning,” for which we are grateful, but we must not forget the millions of immigrants who were not included: the children and families who continue to flee the violence in Mexico and Central America, the mothers of the “dreamers,” and those who work in the fields and cities. They are our sisters and brothers, too; they are the “stranger” our faith compels us to welcome. We must continue to press Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”