Following Trump’s halt to US immigration, bishops call for solidarity

CNA Staff, Apr 24, 2020 / 05:13 pm (CNA).- As the Trump administration suspends immigration to stem the spread of coronavirus, the United States’ bishops encouraged global solidarity, saying the order promotes hostility instead.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order April 22 which would block a large portion of immigrants from accessing green cards.

“In this moment, our common humanity is apparent more now than ever. The virus is merciless in its preying upon human life; it knows no borders or nationality,” read an April 23 statement issued by Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of US bishops’ conference; Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville of Washington, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration; and Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, chair of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.

“The President’s action threatens instead to fuel polarization and animosity. While we welcome efforts to ensure that all Americans are recognized for the dignity of their work, the global crisis caused by COVID-19 demands unity and the creativity of love, not more division and the indifference of a throw-away mentality.”

The Migration Policy Institute reported that the order could block an estimated 52,000 green cards over the next 60-day period. The executive order may also be renewed after this period is over.

According to the order, the temporary halt to immigration will apply to those who “do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation” or “do not have an official travel document other than a visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.”

The order will not pertain to healthcare professionals, any member of the US military, minor children and spouses of US citizens, and those entering for national security reasons.

According to the New York Times, as of April 24, the coronavirus has infected over 2.7 million people and killed 186,832 people worldwide.

Numerous countries throughout the world have tightened restrictions on borders and traveling. In the past month, there have been several changes to the United States immigration system, including delays to immigration hearings and suspended refugee admissions, CNN reported.

The bishops expressed concerns that this order will not only negatively affect immigrants but religious workers as well. This order will be detrimental to the Church and other denominations, they further added.

“The proclamation prevents certain immigrant family members from reuniting with their loved ones living in the United States. Additionally, it bars religious workers seeking to come to the United States as lawful permanent residents from supporting the work of our Church, as well as many other religions, at this time,” they said.

“This will undoubtedly hurt the Catholic Church and other denominations in the United States, diminishing their overall ability to minister to those in need,” the bishops wrote.

The bishops emphasized the dignity of all people and said that immigrants are a positive influence on society.

“There is little evidence that immigrants take away jobs from citizens. Immigrants and citizens together are partners in reviving the nation’s economy. We must always remember that we are all sons and daughters of God joined together as one human family.”

“Pope Francis teaches us that to live through these times we need to employ and embody the ‘creativity of love,’” they said.

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  1. Coronavirus obviously has not idled the leftwing propaganda machine of the USCCB. At a time when 26 million Americans have been thrown out of work, the bishops still have to complain about a sixty-day moratorium on immigration. This is a “moratorium”, moreover, that is riddled with loopholes. I’d love to see their evidence that immigrants don’t take jobs away from Americans. I am also just as sure that mass immigration has not lowered wages for American workers or that a disproportionate number of immigrants don’t end up on the public dole. The constant stream of stupid and offensive statements on political issues do far more to “fuel animosity and polarization” than inadequate government measures intended to safeguard the well being of the American people.

  2. The pandemic in the US and Europe is also, in part, a direct result of the open border immigration policies endorsed by the Church hierarchy. I don’t expect any admission on that point either.

  3. No doubt some infection was carried into Europe and the States by immigrants or foreign nationals but Ive read that in the UK it was also spread by British folk returning home from Singapore and other business/vacation sites.
    I think world travel is more the issue than immigration. But at this point halting immigration may help because there seem to be different strains of the virus circulating in other regions of the globe. Perhaps in different cities or US states also?
    It’s a puzzlement what the long term outcome will be but it’s frustrating to see various interests attempting to use a tragic epidemic to further their own agendas.

    • It is undoubtedly true that the spread was caused by both travelers and immigrants. With a more restrictive immigration policy, however, the outbreak in the US and elsewhere would have been far less serious.

  4. The idea that a 60-day moratorium will cause significant harm to the mission of the church in the U.S. is absurd and is a further indication that the bishops are less interested in their current members than immigrants.

  5. Trump once more casts a pall over Americans who are hurting with the COVID nightmare by using his bully pulpit. Doctor Trump misleading citizens by disgracefully offering his non-medical expertise by saying people should take Lysol and bleach to
    “remove the virus in minutes”. Even his advisors were aghast.

    Then he signs an order that blocks all immigrants from entering the US even those who are seeking asylum. How about immigrants who are productive? “There is little evidence that immigrants take away jobs from US citizens. However, Trump is blindly fueling polarization civil unrest and animosity. Immigrants who are productive fill low paying manual labor and have taken jobs of providing the critical link in the food chain and the market. Most Americans will not fill those jobs. If we stop the coladiscope of US immigration our food chain will be seriously interrupted. Something folks at the dinner table may not know.

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