News and Events
The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph Calls for the Welcome and Humane Treatment of Arriving Migrants
October 31, 2018:
FEDERATION STATEMENT ON REFUGEE CARAVAN
The US Federation of the Sisters of St Joseph aligns with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in opposing the current administration’s continued denigration of those fleeing untenable situations in their home countries through an executive order which will block those seeking asylum in the U.S. Known in the media as the “refugee caravan,” these courageous people — mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles — have fled tyranny, persecution, and violence in search of a safe place for themselves and their families. Just as our own ancestors did, they have fled home cultures of corruption and exploitation looking for the American dream.
As women religious, we reject the rhetoric of fear and policy of division that poisons our politics today. We choose instead to embrace an America that is filled with hope for a nation united for the common good. We stand with Pope Francis who calls us to, “promote the dignity of all our brothers and sisters, particularly the poor and the excluded of society, those who are abandoned, immigrants and those who suffer violence and human trafficking.”
We urge the administration to manage refugee arrivals humanely and in a manner that respects their dignity and rights under U.S. and international law and to:
- Allow migrants to approach our border and ask for protection in the United States and to be admitted for processing in a timely manner.
- Ensure that asylum seekers have access to legal counsel and receive a fair resolution of their claim.
- Guarantee that parents and children stay together after they are apprehended. Holding families indefinitely in detention or detaining parents while releasing their children violates the values of this nation and the standards set forth in the Flores settlement.
- Eschew detention of those awaiting adjudication of their asylum petitions in favor of alternatives that are more humane and more cost-efficient.
- Direct Homeland Security to cooperate with faith-based and humanitarian organizations who are prepared to assist asylum-seekers.
The United States has a long and proud history of welcoming immigrants and sheltering refugees. We Sisters of St. Joseph live and work that all may be one — one with God, with one another, and all creation — and welcome the ‘dear neighbor’ without exception. We have been blessed to be able to accompany and serve migrant communities across this country, and we will continue to welcome them as our faith requires.
Actions we can take:
- Tell Congress to stop funding hate at our borders here: https://greateras1.org/protectasylum/
- Speak out against family detention here: https://protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/
- Show your support of migrants and immigrants on social media.
- Vote for candidates in the midterm elections who believe in the just and humane treatment of ALL immigrants.
- Pray for all those who are traveling to the United States seeking asylum.
- Consider supporting the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Lyon/Province of Mexico minister in the “Albergue Decanal Guadalupano” in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, a shelter for migrants sponsored by the diocese and staffed by our Sisters, lay partners, and volunteers. You can send checks to Sisters of St. Joseph, 80 Garland Rd., Winslow, ME 04901. Please put ‘Mexico’ in the note. The CSJs of Lyon in Maine will see to it that these funds get to their Sisters in Mexico.
How are Sisters of St. Joseph serving migrants and asylum seekers in Mexico?
The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Lyon/Province of Mexico minister in the “Albergue Decanal Guadalupano” in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, a shelter for migrants sponsored by the diocese and staffed by our Sisters, lay partners and volunteers. They are situated where the train known as “The Beast” crosses into Mexico, often carrying migrants by the dozens on its roofs. The shelter offers welcome, presence, food and first aid, showers, clothing and limited overnight accommodations. In addition to direct attention to our brothers and sisters, the team is committed to coordinating with various consulates and Mexican agencies for the defense of human rights, education of the public about the realities, causes and consequences of migration and the coordination of relief efforts to sustain and expand the services the shelter can provide. To learn more and see them in action click here:
What are the Sisters saying about the situation today?
Right now the Sisters and their volunteers are serving an average of 250 migrants a day. They tell us that the situation is very critical and that they are mobilizing among themselves and with other religious around the country to provided what they expect to be a massive amount of assistance as the asylum seekers reach Tierra Blanca and then move beyond it.
What can we do to support them?
- They ask that we pray, of course, but that we also work to create and/or change the consciousness of US voters and politicians to promote policies that focus on the human rights of these most vulnerable brothers and sisters.
- If any individual, Province or Congregation would like to help them provide for the basic needs of the migrants and asylum seekers, donations can be made directly through https://cssjfed.breezechms.com/form/9018cd or checks can be sent to: Sisters of St. Joseph, 80 Garland Rd., Winslow, ME 04901. Please put ‘Mexico’ in the note. The CSJs of Lyon in Maine will see to it that these funds get to their Sisters in Mexico.
U.S. FEDERATION OF SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH • 314-925-7676 • INFO@CSSJFED.ORG