NETWORK Opposes Legislation that Terrorizes Immigrant Communities
May 18, 2017
NETWORK opposes H.R. 2431, the Oliver-Davis Act, formerly known as the SAFE Act, which was introduced this week. This bill includes harsh and terrorizing interior enforcement proposals that would separate families through mass deportation efforts, encourage racial profiling by local law enforcement, and threaten community safety. Equally as horrifying is the policy proposal that would criminalize religious leaders, houses of worship, and people of faith who provide humanitarian assistance to all persons regardless of immigration status.
Sister Simone sent a letter to Congress expressing NETWORK’s opposition to H.R. 2431. Read the full text below:
Dear Member of Congress,
On behalf of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, I urge you to oppose H.R. 2431, The Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act. This bill will lead to the mass deportation of men, women, and children who are full participants in our communities and add substantially to our churches, schools, and neighborhoods. We believe that no amount of markup in the Judiciary Committee would make this bill palatable to the Catholic Sisters and activists of NETWORK who are committed to fixing our broken immigration system and whose mission is answering our faithful call to welcome the stranger and love our neighbor.
U.S. immigration policy must prioritize family unity and provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people currently living in America. The Davis-Oliver Act instead will embolden racial profiling, create deep fear in the immigrant community, and lead to family separation through deportations. It must be rejected.
Further, the bill also criminalizes individuals who provide humanitarian assistance to the immigrant community. Should it be passed into law, the faith community could not comply with this act and still be faithful to our Gospel call. Our mission is to provide assistance to all vulnerable people without regard of immigration status. H.R. 2431 criminalizes our mission to do justice. An integral part of our Catholic identity is to respect the dignity of the every human person. Any policy that encourages family separation through mass deportations is inhumane and unjust.
I would like to remind you of the words of Pope Francis. During his address to Congress, Pope Francis asked you to remember the Golden Rule for our immigrant sisters and brothers: “Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.”
The Davis-Oliver Act violates our faith mandate that we be a welcoming country that values and inspires people to love their neighbor, no matter the circumstances. NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice urges you to reject H.R. 2431, the Davis-Oliver Act. Instead, commit to fixing our broken immigration system to ensure family unity and provide a pathway to citizenship for the people who are undocumented in the United States.
Immigration reform, not the Davis-Oliver Act, is the faithful way forward.
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice