NEW ORLEANS – Archbishop Gregory Aymond and the New Orleans City Council have each released statements condemning the Trump administration’s practice of separating families of illegal immigrants at the border.
“We believe immigration should be guided by laws that show charity while providing safety and security,” Aymond wrote in his statement. “Our current immigration laws are not guided by these principles and are not fair or just.”
New Orleans City Council Vice President Helena Moreno took a more direct path in criticizing the administration’s policies.
“The Trump Administration is perpetrating a heartless violation of human rights right here in America,” Moreno said. “These innocent children are being terrorized in our name, and I simply won’t stand for it. This evil must stop immediately, and these children must be reunited with their parents without delay.”
Aymond said the Catholic Church teaches that “if a person is experiencing injustice, persecution, or danger, they have a human right to find a place of security in which to begin a new life.”
The church, Aymond said, operates under the idea of “open our borders – all are welcome.”
Council President Jason Williams said he is speaking out directly against the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.
“I will continue to publicly condemn the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ enforcement of their new immigration policy to separate families,” Williams said. “Forcibly separating children from parents as a matter of course is inhumane and unnecessary, and as an African American and a descendant of American slaves, this policy is evocative of some of darkest days in this countries young history. This policy is truly self-inflicted wound, and like many we have seen from the current administration, is antithetical to American values and basic humanity.”
Aymond urged all Catholics to remember Luke 6:31, which urges Christians to “do unto others what you would have them do unto you.”
“We are called to pray for those unjustly treated and to be a voice for them,” Aymond said “I invite all people of good will to join me in prayer for our sisters and brothers and to act on their behalf by contacting our government officials and urging them to stop these dehumanizing practices and make a sincere effort towards comprehensive immigration.”