The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes President Barack Obama’s decision to use his constitutional authority to address the brokenness of our immigration system; alleviate the suffering of many immigrant families; and begin to heal our national community.
The president’s executive action will provide temporary relief to millions of our neighbors, including mothers and fathers living in fear of deportation and children who worry that their parents could be taken from them at any moment. These measures will serve to stabilize families, communities, and economies and reaffirm the values upon which this nation was founded.
Catholic sisters have a long history of accompanying the immigrant community. We continue to minister to these aspiring citizens in schools, hospitals, and service agencies along the southern border and across the country. We see the devastating effects of the current immigration system every day in our families and our border communities.
While we celebrate the President’s bold action, we know that it is limited. We remember that some seven million of our brothers and sisters will continue to be relegated to life in the shadows. We are disappointed that the President failed to recognize the difficulties caused by the increased militarization of border communities. We know that the only permanent solution lies in comprehensive Congressional action.
LCWR and its members will continue to press Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that protects the dignity and human rights of all people; creates an achievable pathway to citizenship; fixes the immigration visa system and reunites families; protects the rights of all workers; promotes the full integration of newcomers; respects the special needs of the most vulnerable; and addresses the violence, persecution, and poverty that force migrants from their homes.
Executive director Janet Mock, CSJ, reaffirmed the conference’s intention to seek a permanent solution. “We remain committed to seeing just and compassionate immigration reform enacted by Congress and look forward to working with people of faith and good will to ensure that the standards upon which our immigration law is built reflect Catholic social principles and the values of our nation.”
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has nearly 1400 members, who represent more than 80 percent of the approximately 51,600 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.