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Speak out Against “Un-Christian” Immigration Policies

Posted on May 11, 2023

It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help… If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.

Pope Francis

Learn About S.1473

Last week we asked Sisters and Associates to reach out to their representatives to protest the Secure the Border Act of 2023 (H.R. 2). Sadly, this bill has passed the House and is moving on to the next steps of the legislative process. Even more sad, a worse bill has been introduced in the Senate.

S.1473, is an enforcement-only bill that does not include the Dream Act or any protections for immigrants and instead eviscerates the asylum system.

Here’s a bit of what the bill contains:

  • DHS must detain and expel families and unaccompanied children: The bill requires DHS to detain and expel all migrants crossing the border between ports, or arriving to present themselves at ports without prior status or approval, including families and unaccompanied children (UCs). In 2000, Congress rightly decided to move UCs under 18 out of DHS’s enforcement and detention, substituting HHS’s care (by the Office of Refugee Resettlement). DHS is not equipped, or appropriate, for custody of these extremely vulnerable children arriving alone. Family detention is also proven to injure children; the bill would almost certainly lead to separations of children from their parents in the massive detention complexes that would need to be built at the border.
  • Eviscerates the asylum system: The bill creates a new detention and expulsion system to replace asylum. There are only two escape hatches to avoid expulsion: (i) a discretionary CBP exemption, described in the announcement as applying to “acute medical needs”; and (ii) a protection-screening process where the migrant must first express fear to CBP and then prove (without any access to assistance) that their life and freedom “would be threatened” or they “would be tortured.” These are much higher legal standards than required in credible fear interviews or asylum hearings. Migrants under this bill would never get legal advice or a day in court, as DHS officials’ rushed determinations would be final “without further hearing or review.”
  • Mass expulsions to Mexico worsen border management on both sides: The bill envisions expulsions primarily to Mexico, without any indication that Mexico is on board. Title 42 and Remain in Mexico show this approach to be disastrous. Northern Mexico is dangerous and externalizing migration challenges does nothing to solve them. The bill encourages mass crossings of desperate migrants.

Action Steps

  1. You can view a letter that NETWORK signed about the bill here:
  2. Beginning Thursday, May 18, the Congregation will publish a series of posts to educate people about S.1473 on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. If you use these social media platforms, please share these posts with your friends and family. To see what the posts look like, click here.
  3. If you’re on Twitter, you can re-tweet:
  4. If you’re on Facebook, share the Organizational Sign-On Letter on Sinema-Tillis Bill to your feed by clicking here.
  5. Click here to sign a petition from the Sisters of Mercy.
  6. Click here for a list of the bill’s sponsors and co-sponsors. Please ask them to say “No” to S.1473.

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