Washington (Agenzia Fides) - The Episcopal Conference of the United States has asked the government in recent weeks to end deportation raids of Central American families without valid documents.
According to information sent to Fides, in a letter to Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, the Committee for Migration of the Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) have expressed "great concern" for the detention and deporting of 121 Central Americans, primarily mothers with children.
The letter, signed by the Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle, His Exc. Mgr. Eusebio Elizondo, and the Bishop of Orange in California, His Exc. Mgr. Kevin W. Vann, recall that in the first weekend of the year, DHS arrested 121 illegal immigrants, especially in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina, to expel them from the country. "We find such targeting of immigrant women and children to be inhumane and a grave misuse of limited enforcement resources" the letter reads.
President Barack Obama, in November 2014, said that his administration would pursue the deportation of felons, not families; criminals, not children; gang members, not mothers "who work hard to provide for their children", and such actions are in contrast with those words.
Meanwhile, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has noticed a sharp increase in the flow of illegal immigrants from the southern border.
For several months the Catholic Bishops have called on the government to end the "harmful practice of detention of women and children" and called on Congress to support "humanitarian efforts in the region, which will help to eliminate the violence and stop situations that force people to flee their homes". A group of 146 House Democrats in Congress have asked the Obama administration to stop the deportation of Central Americans fleeing conflict and to consider them as refugees. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 13/01/2016)