U.S. bishops condemn ‘Secure the Border Act of 2023’


Key Catholic leaders ministering to migrants at the border pose for a photograph with President Joe Biden Jan. 8, 2023. Left to right: Bishop Seitz of El Paso, Texas; Sister Norma Pimental of Brownsville, Texas; and Ruben Garcia, director of migrant shelter Annunciation House. / Diocese of El Paso

Washington D.C., May 8, 2023 / 16:30 pm (CNA).

Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso issued an open letter to Congress on May 5 strongly condemning the Secure the Border Act of 2023 as “extreme” and expressing the U.S. bishops’ position that the bill’s passage “is beyond justification.”

As chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, Seitz is a hardline advocate for the rights of immigrants and has been highly critical of efforts to restrict immigration by both Republicans and Democrats.

The Secure the Border Act of 2023 is sponsored by Republican Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Tom McClintock and supported by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The bill proposes to crack down on the record number of migrants who have been crossing the border under the Biden administration. The bill’s proposals include resuming construction of the border wall, ending the policy of “catch and release,” increasing the number of Border Patrol agents, and more.

According to Seitz’s letter, “this legislation contains such a combination of harmful measures that we [the bishops] believe its passage, on the whole, is beyond justification.”

Seitz claims that if passed the bill would “fundamentally weaken our nation’s decades-long commitment to humanitarian protection … endanger unaccompanied children and inflict harm on other vulnerable persons, decimate access to asylum, mandate damaging detention and removal practices, restrict access to legal employment, limit — and potentially eliminate — federal partnerships with faith-based and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), undermine the rule of law, and more.”

The bishops’ letter also condemns resuming construction of the border wall.

“We have long opposed the construction of a wall spanning the entire U.S.-Mexico border, especially with the dangers it poses to human life and the environment” and that this “bill would effectively undermine constitutional property rights and further abrogate the rights of those living near the border by prioritizing federal land acquisition above such rights,” the bishops’ letter reads.

Because of these issues, the bishops encourage members of Congress to oppose the Secure the Border Act of 2023.

“The provisions discussed,” wrote Seitz, “underscore the extreme nature of this bill, its incompatibility with Catholic social teaching, and its inconsistency with our nation’s broadly bipartisan commitment to humanitarian protection.”

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  1. Seitz’s position (and that of the majority of US bishops, since they elected him as their representative on this issue) is nothing less than an endorsement of open-borders mayhem. CNA would doubtlessly consider it disrespectful to ask His Excellency if he thinks there ought to be any restrictions, quantitative or qualitative, on immigration to America. He would refuse to answer anyway, but we know.

    His list of harmful measures is bogus. Unaccompanied children have been exposed to the greatest dangers imaginable as they are smuggled north by drug dealers and pimps. Almost all the asylum claims are phony. People who enter a country illegally should expect to be detained and deported. They certainly have no right to employment in a country where their presence is illegal. Of course, Seitz has no concerns about the welfare of the American people whose wages are being undercut, neighborhoods are being made unsafe and whose country is being turned into a vast, incoherent Third World dump. All of this will only make life more miserable for all parties, with the possible exceptions of the oligarchs and their well-connected flunkies like the ones shown in photo.

  2. When have any of these bishops condemned Pope Francis for praising the tyrannical governments that exacerbated the poverty that increased the desperation of the migrants?

  3. “The provisions discussed,” wrote Seitz, “underscore the extreme nature of this bill, its incompatibility with Catholic social teaching, and its inconsistency with our nation’s broadly bipartisan commitment to humanitarian protection.”

    These official statements by “Bishop” Seitz and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and its Committee on Migration are flagrant and outright lies that in no way, shape, form, or fashion represent Catholic social teaching or the values of the United States. What they do represent is approval, support, and encouragement of unrestricted invasion by illegal alien invaders, almost all of whom are single men in their 20’s and 30’s, from almost 190 countries around the globe, including Islamist and Communist terrorists; virtually total control of this country’s by barbarically criminal drug cartels profiting in the billions of dollars annually from human trafficking, fentanyl and methamphetamine drug trafficking; the sex slavery of children and women and the massive rape and sexual exploitation of hundreds of thousands of children and women seeking to avail themselves of illegal entry to this country; the collapse of social welfare, hospital, and health care facilities throughout the entire Southern border as well as in virtually every major city in this country; the corruption of elections throughout this country by millions of fraudulent votes; and spread of documented deadly infections such as tuberculosis, syphilis, gonorrhoea, leprosy, polio, cholera, diphtheria, smallpox, or severe acute respiratory syndromes.

    Is it any wonder that Catholics who read such cynical propaganda from “Bishop” Seitz and his fellow hirelings at the USCCB are scandalized and outraged when they learn that billions of dollars of their taxpayer money is being paid every year to carry on this sordid charade? For example, Catholic Charities had revenues last year of $4.7 billion, $2.9 billion of which came from the U.S. government for illegal immigration support.

    Every year over the past 10 years the cry has grown louder and louder that there is an ape Church which has eclipsed the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church in the Vatican with its world-wide sexual perversions, stunning financial crimes and corruption, and almost daily denials and deformations of dogma and doctrine. It is actions like these of “Bishop” Seitz and the USCCB that only extend and confirm these realities.

  4. I think that the doors to our country need to be open to those wishing to immigrate and become hard-working American citizens. Due to legalized abortion (69-72 million killed since 1972) and Americans choosing to remain childless or limiting their families to 1 or 2 children (or discovering that they are unable to conceive for various reasons, including waiting until late in life to try to conceive), our population is decreasing. The Baby Boomer generation (my generation) is still with us and many of us who were born in the late 1950s and early 1960s are just now coming to the age of retirement–and many of us do NOT wish to continue working (or cannot work due to various physical/mental conditions). WE NEED PEOPLE TO DO THE WORK THAT KEEPS OUR NATION GOING! The shortage of medical professionals, especially in the non-nursing fields (lab, X-Ray, respiratory, MRI, Physical Therapy assistants, etc.) is alarming–if the nation knew how short-staffed many medical labs are, there would be panic. And the various industries are short-staffed–in Missouri, a factory is supposed to be opening that will offer employment to 10,000 workers–they are counting on immigrants (primarily Mexican) and are preparing housing and other services to assist them as they move to Missouri. The Catholic Church is also preparing, as one of the parishes is scheduled to become a Hispanic parish. The need for workers in all fields is huge! WE NEED MORE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY! Yes, stop the drug lords, the mobs, the sex-traffickers, and street gang recruiters from getting into this country, but everyone else who wants to come to the U.S. and become Americans should be welcomed and given the assistance to assimilate into our great country and join us as we work and play!! I find it hypocritical that the Republicans want to save the unborn but reject the immigrants. They should welcome ALL human beings. (I am a registered Republican.) We have plenty of room in the U.S.!

    • Well, in principle yes Mrs. Sharon. We need immigration but we need to do it through reasonable legal channels as our neighbors do. Canada being an example.
      Mexico has pretty strict requirements re. immigration & rules for foreign nationals residing in their country.
      Mexico is no longer a Third World nation & their birth rates have plummeted also. Mexico will be looking for young people to fill their future workforce too & they should be looking to accommodate more Latin American migrants rather than sending them North to be preyed upon further by cartels.

  5. A truly disheartening stand by these bishops [I’m confidant not all agree]. Flagrantly socialistic in tone. With all the horrors committed at the border, child exploitation, trafficking, fentanyl they stand smilingly in unison, hold hands with the greatest purveyor of in utero infanticide, perversion, sexual mutilation of children the world has known.

  6. Title 42, a pandemic-era public health policy that placed restrictions on immigrants entering the US, comes to an end 11 May. The public health legislation was issued by the TRUMP administration and denied refugee status to migrants on the US’ southern border. The policy’s end comes as the Biden administration is ending the Covid public health emergency nationally.

    I ask, since the illegal immigrants are coming mostly from Central American countries whose COVID testing is suspect, at best, should President Biden lift Title 42?

    CNN: “What will happen if Title 42 is lifted? Officials predict that lifting Title 42 is likely to spur a significant increase in the number of migrants trying to cross into the US. One reason for the expected spike: Many migrants who were sent back to Mexico under the policy are desperate and losing patience.” Can we honor the saying on Lady Liberty?

    ““Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

    • You know Morgan, Mexico is no longer a Third World country and they can lend a hand in offering other Latin American migrants a place to live and work. Especially folks escaping the situation in Venezuela.

    • Immigration through proper channels…not enmassed to repeatedly rush the borders of the southern states. Biden didn’t end the Covid emergency; if he could he would permanently extend such a power grab.

      Ellis Island and the immigrants from Europe were radically different from those currently swarming US borders. Today’s illegals, from Federal government data, will rely on services and aid that did not exist one-hundred years ago. There are no language requirements and the idea of assimilation exists where?

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