US bishops at Mexico border amid separation
Brian Roewe |
29 June 2018
A delegation of U.S. bishops will head to the nation's southern border Monday as national attention remains focused on the separation of immigrant families who have attempted to enter the country illegally.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will lead the delegation to the Brownsville Diocese, situated at the southern tip of Texas where it borders central Mexico.
The move comes amid continuing outrage with the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward immigrants attempting to enter the country illegally, often in an effort to escape violence or poverty in their homelands, that has resulted in thousands of children separated from their parents.
While President Donald Trump signed an executive order June 20 directing an end to the practice of separating families, questions persist regarding his administration's efforts to reunite those families that were split apart, including 2,300 children.
Details for the border visit, first reported by Crux, have remained scant.
A press advisory issued by the U.S. bishops stated only that the bishops will visit the diocese and hold a press conference Monday night at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle, in San Juan, Texas, "to offer reflections on engagements with the Catholic community, U.S. government officials and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley organizations on the issue of family separation."
The trip's full schedule has not been finalized, the advisory said, nor has the full delegation beyond DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, and Brownsville Bishop Daniel Flores.
The idea of a delegation was raised by Newark, New Jersey, Cardinal Joseph Tobin earlier this month during the bishop's annual spring assembly, held this year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He said that sending bishops to inspect detention facilities where children are being kept would serve "as a sign of our pastoral concern and our protest against this hardening of the American heart."
(Brian Roewe is an NCR staff writer. His email address is email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianRoewe.)
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