Sisters of the Humility of Mary statement about immigration

November 2, 2018

In 1988, the Sisters of the Humility of Mary issued a corporate witness statement opposing all military, political or economic intervention which is incongruent with the principle of self-determination. We called on our government to honor the legal right of Central American people fleeing violence and repression to seek asylum in this nation with a tradition of valuing the rights of all to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and which has been strengthened by the diversity of its population.

30 years later, we again raise our voice to call on our government to honor this tradition and  respect and fulfill its obligation to listen with respect and reverence to the requests for asylum that come from these courageous and desperate women, men and children.

We are deeply troubled by the U.S. policies and the practices of U.S. corporations which have helped to fuel the violence and humanitarian crisis that currently exists in Central America, especially at this time in Honduras. We are greatly saddened by President Trump’s continued practice of denigrating those who are suffering and his administration’s policy of rejection, detainment and incarceration of asylum seekers. We are appalled at the language that has turned this human crisis into a military “emergency,” an “invasion” to which our government is choosing to respond with a massive armed force.

We join our voices with those of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and a host of faith communities in opposing the Trump administration’s policy of banning asylum seekers on the southern border.

With LCWR, “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.” We ask that this process:
•    Allow migrants to approach our border to ask for protection and to be admitted for processing in a timely manner
•    Ensure that asylum seekers have access to legal counsel and receive a fair and timely resolution of their claim
•    Guarantee that parents and children stay together
•    Opt for alternatives for those awaiting adjudication of their asylum petitions that are more humane and cost effective than detention
•    Direct Homeland Security to cooperate with faith-based and humanitarian organizations who are prepared to assist asylum-seekers.

As women religious and HM Sisters, we have been blessed to accompany and serve migrants and refugees for many years. We call on concerned citizens to join us in advocating with our Congressional Representatives and Senators for immigration policies that welcome migrants and reverence their dignity and potential to contribute to the greatness of this nation.