At the 2016 General Chapter, the international Society of the Sacred Heart reaffirmed its commitment: “To revitalize our unity in diversity and to act as one Body, dynamic, interconnected, linked with other bodies, in the world and as Church, in order to share, collaborate, and be in solidarity among ourselves and with others.” (19) In the spirit of this commitment and our mission of incarnating God’s love, we, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of the United States – Canada Province, strongly oppose the president’s declaration of a state of emergency to divert funds for a border wall.
This action represents an overreach of presidential authority and ignores the humanitarian crisis created by our current immigration policies. Moreover, based on our long history of welcoming those seeking refuge from oppression and a new life built on education and hard work, we urgently call on the president and congress for the development of immigration and border security reforms as well as an equitable response to DACA recipients and TPS holders.
We join all people of conscience, women’s and men’s religious congregations, and Catholic Social Justice organizations in our opposition to the use of emergency funds for a border wall and urgently call for immigration reform.
As Pope Francis offered in his 2019 World Day of Peace message, “Politics is an essential means of building human community and institutions, but when political life is not seen as a form of service to society as a whole, it can become a means of oppression, marginalization and, even, destruction.”
At the local level, we can call on our leaders to oppose the declaration of a national emergency and to engage in bipartisan reform as well as help in the immediate crisis by:
- Calling congressional offices directly or through the switchboard. If you do not have the direct number, you can reach US representatives by calling 202-225-3121, and US senators by calling 202-224-3121. Ask the operator to connect you to the individual office.
- Educating ourselves and others on the history and underlying issues regarding border security, immigration reform and global migration, especially as it affects those who are trying to enter our country.
Statements on National Emergency from other Congregations and organizations:
- Ignatian Solidarity Network website: includes an overview of the current problem, history of immigration and migration, and stories from immigration and those migrating
- Society of the Sacred Heart corporate stance on immigration
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops statements and resources on immigration and migration
- The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) is a think tank and an educational institute devoted to the study of international migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of immigrants. Their website includes in depth statistical analyses on migration and immigration around the world. (http://cmsny.org/cms-research/catholicintegration/)