Alexandria, VA – As our nation grapples with escalating turmoil at the southwestern border of the United States and a highly charged political environment, it is incredibly disturbing for Catholic Charities — the domestic humanitarian arm of the U.S. Catholic Church — to be accused of violating federal laws, fueling the dramatic increase in migrants crossing the border and inhibiting immigration enforcement by facilitating the transport of migrants to the nation’s interior. These accusations are both fallacious and factually inaccurate. Our life-saving humanitarian work neither violates federal laws nor endangers communities.
The federal government is fully responsible for maintaining the U.S. border and determines who enters the country.
Our humanitarian care (food, clean clothes, bathing facilities, overnight respite) is provided legally. It typically begins after an asylum-seeker has been processed and released by the federal government. Both U.S. and international law provide for the right to seek asylum at another country’s border. Without the assistance of Catholic Charities and other humanitarian organizations, many migrant families and individuals would be on the streets of the nation’s communities. These communities are better equipped to handle large numbers of migrants precisely because of our humanitarian services.
The ministry of care provided to migrants by Catholic Charities has been ongoing, across multiple administrations, since our founding in 1910. To care for people who are at-risk, including vulnerable people on the move, is a part of the fabric of the global Catholic Church and is mandated by the gospel.
Let us be clear. The U.S. immigration system is in dire need of reform; Catholic Charities and all those agencies and individuals responding to this national crisis are operating within a broken system. We urge all Americans to ask the administration and their Congressional representatives to act on this important issue, as we have done.
For more complete information on our immigration work, please visit “And They Shall Know Us By Our Love,” in which we detail Catholic Charities respite efforts and what the gospel says about immigration; it also includes a robust and transparent FAQ.
ABOUT CATHOLIC CHARITIES
A member of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 15 million people a year regardless of religious, social or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.