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California Bishops Question Wisdom of National Guard Deployment Along U.S./Mexico Border

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April 7, 2018

(En EspañolRoman Catholic Bishops from dioceses located on the United States and Mexico border recently issued a statement (https://tinyurl.com/border-statement) expressing their “deep concern” about the militarization of the border.  Bishop Jaime Soto, from Sacramento and president of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement in solidarity with border bishops’ sentiments and the plight immigrants face in the nation today:

“The Bishops of California share the concerns expressed about the militarization of the border by our brother bishops serving there.  Immigrants have enriched this nation since its founding. The US southern border with Mexico is not a war zone.  It has long been the bridge for much mutual economic as well as cultural exchange.  Troops may be appropriate for drug-interdiction duties but not to “guard” against men, women and children seeking a better life.

“Attempts to fix a broken immigration system using the National Guard are the result of a failure to govern by both executive and legislative branches in Washington.  Calling up the good people of the National Guard – the first responders when our communities face disasters – unwisely expends their goodwill and limited resources pandering to nativist fears and hatreds.

“The Guard cannot do the job that Congress has refused to do for decades now.  Our nation’s leaders must assume their responsibility to enact an immigration reform that provides a humane, legal remedy to hard-working immigrant families. Immigration reform should provide both citizens and immigrants reasonable security from those who would harm us.

“America does not need a better wall.  We need stronger leadership committed to protecting human dignity and promoting solidarity with the most vulnerable among us.”