Failed immigration policies cause of crackdown, US Bishops say

A planned increase in the number of federal immigration raids is another indication of the failure of America’s policies in regards to immigration, according to Archbishop Jose H Gomez. The Archbishop, from Los Angeles, made the comments about the planned raids, which were announced in the middle of May, last week.

Eusebio L Elizondo, the Seattle Auxiliary Bishop and US Bishops’ Committee on Migration (USCCB) chairman-elect, agreed with Gomez, noting that each of their parishes are panicked by such operations. He said that no one should have to be afraid of going to school or church in fear of being ripped away from their family and sent back into a dangerous situation. Elizondo claims that deportations fail to provide a deterrent to illegal immigration, and that such undocumented immigrants are vulnerable and fleeing humanitarian crises in their homelands.

The comments come in the wake of last Tuesday’s news that a mother and her teenage daughter had been deported by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement from the South Texas Family Residential Center, which is situated in Dilley, Texas. The action was taken by ICE in spite of it being aware of the family’s fear of being murdered in their home nation, and in spite of their attorneys being in the process of filing an appeal, as their claim for asylum had not been heard, says the Cara Family Detention Pro Bono Project managing attorney, Katie Shepherd.

Shepherd described ICE’s conduct, which included taking the family from the detention center during the night and deporting them before the courts had opened their doors, as “outrageous”.