For Immediate Release: December 11, 2023
WASHINGTON – NETWORK Lobby is dismayed by media reporting that President Biden is willing to support the creation of a nationwide program through which immigrants around the country would face immediate arrest, deportation, and expulsion without due process and other Trump-era anti-immigrant policies in exchange for military aid. Taken together, these permanent and drastic changes to immigration law would effectively restrict access to asylum for thousands of people who have the right to seek safety in the United States – sending them back to violence, persecution, and death. This flies directly in the face of President Biden’s promise to restore fairness to the immigration system.
“As Catholics we believe that each person carries within them the dignity of God. That the Biden administration and the Senate negotiators have decided that they can permanently trade protections for Black, Brown, and Indigenous people seeking asylum for foreign aid is despicable,” said Sr. Eilis McCulloh, HM, NETWORK Grassroots Education and Organizing Specialist.
The way the U.S. makes laws is the bedrock of its democracy. Trading domestic policy and longstanding laws for a temporary deal on foreign aid will hurt our democracy and all of us overall, noted Mary J. Novak, NETWORK Executive Director:
“Trading away permanent protections for people seeking safety in the U.S. for military aid is immoral. People are not bargaining chips. These changes would have devastating consequences for immigrants in the United States, for all our communities, and most importantly, jeopardize thousands of precious lives. Those who would be most impacted are those already most marginalized globally, including Black, Brown, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ refugees. We are in the season of Advent, awaiting the birth of the savior child born to parents forced to seek refuge from a dangerous dictator. If we cannot see the Holy Family in the faces of families arriving at our border, we must repent. Christ is alive today in these families,” said Novak.
# # #
Founded by Catholic Sisters in 1972, in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, NETWORK is an inclusive, national, Catholic advocacy organization open to all who share our values, working to achieve equity and justice for everyone. Grounded in Gospel values and the Catholic social justice tradition, NETWORK transforms our society by shaping federal policies that achieve racial, economic, and social justice; serve the common good; and honor the dignity of all.