Congregational Stance - Separation of Children

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

June 11, 2018

An Open Letter of Concern:

We Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ are a group of Catholic Sisters who for the past 150 years have served the needs of people in the United States of America. Our first Sisters emigrated from Germany and our first ministry was to immigrants who came to this country in search of justice, freedom of religion, improved economies, peace – not unlike the wishes of today’s immigrants. We continue our ministry among those on the margins, particularly women and children.

We Sisters take the gospel seriously and seek to follow Jesus’ example. Jesus cared especially for those whom society often forgets. We have a history of ministries in education, child care, health care and social work and others. We sponsor a home for children medically compromised; we help women who are homeless and in need of job skills and social supports; we work with families in crisis; we support moms and babies needing basic health services; we help the elderly needing transportation to medical providers, and other ways of assistance. We do this through established institutions and through our individual personal works.

We Sisters are appalled and ashamed at the treatment that families at the Mexican border are experiencing from representatives of the USA. In particular, the separating of children from their parents represents action that is cruel; it is unchristian and un-American. We are better than this and should be able to find a way to protect our borders that avoids the punishment of children, potentially scarring them for life.

We call for an immediate change in policy and procedures so that families can stay together during the review process of asylum seekers and immigrants into our country. We ask that the US Department of Homeland Security, state and national agencies for children’s protection, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, along with other federal agencies act in ways that adhere to international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights of children and adults.