Statement by the Bishops of the Texas-Northern Mexico Border
March 4, 2019
I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Mt 25.35).
Driven by situations of extreme violence and poverty, many immigrants come to our border, in large caravans or in small groups. We urge everyone to discover, in these brothers and sisters who suffer, the Christ in need, and to give them the support they need, without taking themselves for criminals, as they are sometimes perceived. The reality is different: many of them are victims of criminal elements in their own country as well as during their journey to the border. As bishops of the Texas-Mexico border, we reiterate our commitment to continue to provide whatever assistance our migrant brothers and sisters need, with each separate diocese joining with various religious and civil organizations working in favor of immigrants. We call on governments, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to adopt policies that have the effect of increasing the suffering of the most vulnerable.
In particular, we express our total disagreement with the policy of the United States government to send migrants to Mexico who are waiting their turn to appear before an American judge who will decide whether or not they will receive asylum. We oppose this proposal for several reasons, including: 1) It will force Mexico to set up camps for tens of thousands of refugees, thereby compromising their right to seek asylum in the United States and depriving them of support from family members on American soil. 2) This will effectively place beyond their reach the exercise of their right to be represented by a lawyer in their case before the court. 3) It will create a situation in which many immigrants and refugees will no longer seek the legal process through established ports of entry, but will attempt to enter the United States through high-risk locations in order to avoid authorities.
As pastors, we encourage our faithful to unite with the God of hope and life, so that he may help us to welcome, protect, promote and integrate immigrants, as Pope Francis has asked.
Do not weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9).
Bishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS
Archbishop of San Antonio
Bishop Michael Boulette
Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio
Bishop Daniel E. Flores
Bishop of Brownsville
Bishop Mario A. Avilés. CO
Auxiliary Bishop of Brownsville
Bishop Raymundo J. Pena
Bishop Emeritus of Brownsville
Bishop Jose Guadalupe Torres Campos
Bishop of Ciudad Juárez
More. Reverend Mark J. Seitz
Bishop of El Paso
More. Reverend James Tamayo
Bishop of Laredo
Bishop Eugenio Andrés Lira Rugarcía
Bishop of Matamoros
Bishop Enrique Sánchez Martínez, III
Bishop of Nuevo Laredo
Bishop Alonso G. Garza Treviño
Bishop of Piedras Negras
Bishop Raúl Vera López, OP
Bishop of Saltillo
More. Reverend Michael James Sis
Bishop of San Angelo
Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI
Bishop Emeritus of San Angelo