- Aug 9, 2020
The Bishop of El Paso is urging the Trump administration to extend a temporary residency program for Salvadoran migrants for the sake of keeping families together.
On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, a result that few had predicted. On this one year anniversary, Crux examines the ways in which the United States bishops have shifted their policy priorities over the past year and how immigration, in particular, has become a defining issue for the U.S. Church.
After the announcement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops last month to form a new ad hoc committee to fight racism, many bishops around the country are also engaging in the fight in their own dioceses, launching initiatives and getting involved in local disputes they believe are augmenting racial tensions.
Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas joined with 1,300 Catholic educators in issuing a moral mandate in defense of DACA, a program that provides protection to undocumented minors to stay in the United States for work or education purposes. The letter singles out President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, calling on him to wield his influence as a prominent Catholic inside the White House to help preserve the program.
In an effort to deport more people than President Obama did, the Trump administration is focusing on immigrants who follow the rules and show up to their meeting with ICE to tell them their whereabouts. Criminals and people who pose a danger to society are too difficult to find so they are a lower priority.
Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso is working to stop the deportation of a woman who is the only caretaker for her bed-ridden 8-year-old daughter, who has bone cancer. Seitz made headlines in July because of a pastoral letter in which he denounced the “demonization of immigrants” and pleaded with others for compassion and solidarity.