Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center Statement on the
Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Immigration
The Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, sponsored by 21 religious communities, is deeply troubled by the Executive Order on Immigration released by the Trump Administration on January 27, 2017. We continue to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters and those seeking refuge in the United States. While we recognize the right of nations to establish reasonable laws to enforce their borders, we believe this Executive Order does not align with our Catholic faith, which calls us to “love our neighbor” (Mark 12:31) and to “welcome the stranger” (Matthew 25:35). We further believe that it is contrary to our values as a nation, which has a rich history of welcoming immigrants and refugees and whose laws protect against discrimination based on religious preference.
For years we have worked for justice alongside the interfaith community and have witnessed instances of discrimination and hate toward our brothers and sisters who practice Islam. Any action by government that singles out any religion is contrary not only to the American constitution but also to Catholic teaching.
We recognize the need to protect our nation from the threat of terrorism, but we do not believe this Executive Order furthers the interest of national security. The United States already has one of the most rigorous screening processes for refugees in the world, with some applications taking up to two years to be processed. At a time when the refugee crisis is at its worst since World War II, we urge our elected leaders to open our country’s doors to the millions of women, children, and men who have been displaced by the violence in their home countries.
We are also deeply alarmed by how the refugee ban might increase the incidence of human trafficking, an issue we have addressed through education and advocacy for two decades. In his message for the 2017 World Day for Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis addressed the connection between human trafficking and the migration crisis saying, “…the dividing line between migration and trafficking can at times be very subtle. There are many factors which contribute to making migrants vulnerable, especially if they are children.” Closing our doors to refugees increases the risk that already vulnerable populations will be more susceptible to being trafficked.
We join with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and people of all faiths in praying that our elected officials will live up to the ideals of tolerance and fairness that our country has always aspired to.
February 2, 2017