District of Eastern North America

Statement Against Family Separations at the USA/Mexico Border

We stand in solidarity with the families that are being separated at the USA/Mexico border.

We unite our voice with the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding this reality.

As Lasallians of the District of Eastern North America (DENA) we condemn the policy of the current United States administration that separates children from their parents seeking admission to the United States along our country’s border with Mexico.

The Attorney General’s appeal to the 13th chapter of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans as a defense for the administration’s cruel policy neglects to note the dominant directive of the Christian law, cited later in that chapter, “Love does no evil to the neighbor.”

Mindful of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, we Lasallians, who commit ourselves to address the needs of the young, especially the poor, call upon the administration to rescind this reprehensible policy that divides families, violates the rights of children, and intentionally puts the vulnerable at risk.

Mission Executive Council of DENA, Mr. James Logan (Chairman)
Leadership Team of DENA, Brother Dennis Lee, FSC (Provincial)

What You Can Do — A Call to Action


1) Send a Message to Congress

Ask that they protect immigrant children and families seeking safety and shelter from violence by keeping these families together.

Find your representatives here >

Send the following message to your U.S. Senators and Representative:

Dear Senator/Representative,
Children are vulnerable and should not be separated from their parents. The family is a foundational element of Catholic teaching and family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system.

Separating parents from their children will not deter families from seeking safety and security in the U.S. Such a policy will not cure the pervasive root causes of migration existing in the violent areas of Central America. Furthermore, a policy of separating families at the border will be extremely costly to the U.S. taxpayer, costing hundreds of dollars/night per family.

As a Catholic, we urge you to recognize the importance of family unity and use your oversight capabilities to:

  1. Tell DHS NOT to Separate Families.
  2. Prevent DHS from Receiving Funding for This Harmful and Costly Practice.
  3. Propose More Humane Solutions, Such As Alternatives to Detention.


Update – June 21, 2018

President Trump signed an Executive Order directing that the current policy enacted in April of separating families at the USA/Mexico border is to cease. However, what is not clear are the specifics of this Executive Order in regards to reuniting the families already separated. Therefore, vigilance and continued advocacy is still needed.

Please read the update from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops regarding the current immigration legislation and consider contacting your Congressional delegation.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan: God’s law trumps man’s law

Posted July 2, 2018 (June 15, 2018)

A Statement from Daniel Cardinal DiNardo

Archbishop, Galveston-Houston, and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

June 13, 2018

Fort Lauderdale, FL—“At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.

Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB’s Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration’s zero tolerance policy. Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman

Reacts to Policy Separating Families at U.S./Mexico Border: “Children are Not Instruments of Deterrence”

June 1, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security has recently acknowledged implementation of the policy of separating families arriving at the U.S./Mexico Border. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response:
“Forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values. Family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system and a foundational element of Catholic teaching. ‘Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.’ (Psalm 127:3) Children are not instruments of deterrence but a blessing from God.

Rupturing the bond between parent and child causes scientifically-proven trauma that often leads to irreparable emotional scarring. Accordingly, children should always be placed in the least restrictive setting: a safe, family environment, ideally with their own families.

My brother bishops and I understand the need for the security of our borders and country, but separating arriving families at the U.S./Mexico border does not allay security concerns. Children and families will continue to take the enormous risks of migration—including family separation—because the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle remain: community or state-sanctioned violence, gang recruitment, poverty, and a lack of educational opportunity. Any policies should address these factors first as we seek to repair our broken immigration system.”