Archbishop Hebda applauds Trump’s action to end family separation at border

| June 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

Archbishop Bernard Hebda said he is “pleased President Trump has committed to executive action to end the family separations happening at the U.S.-Mexico border” June 20 following the presidential administration announcement of the decision.

The executive order halts his administration’s family separation policy for families who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

The executive order seeks to work around a 1997 consent decree that bars the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention — even if they are with their parents — for more than 20 days. The executive order instructs the attorney general to seek federal court permission to modify the consent decree.

“The Catholic Church has always promoted and defended the dignity of every human person and the rights of families to care for their children,” Archbishop Hebda said. “The Church has also always affirmed a country’s duty to secure its borders and protect its citizens while welcoming those fleeing oppression, violence and poverty.”

Hours before the executive order was signed, Pope Francis said he stood with the U.S. bishops, who had condemned the family separation policy, which has led to children being held in government shelters while their parents are sent to federal prisons.

In his statement, Archbishop Hebda pointed to a tweet from Pope Francis earlier that day: “We encounter Jesus in those who are poor, rejected, or refugees. Do not let fear get in the way of welcoming our neighbour in need.”

“I encourage all people of good will to continue to pray for and contact their elected officials and urge them to uphold the laws of this country, work for comprehensive immigration reform, and respect life at all stages,” Archbishop Hebda said.

— Catholic News Service contributed to this story.

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