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Arizona Catholic Conference Bishops’ Statement on Separating Families at the Border

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Suzanne Hammons
Suzanne Hammons is the editor of the Voice of the Southwest and the media coordinator for the Diocese of Gallup. A graduate of Benedictine College in Kansas, she joined the Diocesan staff in 2012.

June 4, 2018

The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference wish to again express our continued solidarity with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) about the critical need to protect immigrant children and families seeking safety from violence by keeping them together. Many of those coming to our borders are fleeing starvation, violence or death. The separation of children from their parents in these situations, whether as a means of punishment or deterrence, is inhumane and entirely unacceptable.

Since the end of the Obama Administration and continuing into the Trump Administration, there have been troubling increases in the separation of families at the U.S. border with Mexico. In fact, over 700 children have been separated from their parents since October 2017, including over 100 children under the age of four.

We are concerned that these numbers of separated children will drastically increase following the recent statement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on May 4, 2018 that all people crossing the border without authorization, including adult members of family units, will be referred for criminal prosecution.

The Catholic Church has always placed paramount importance on the value of family life, especially as it relates to parents and their children. Similarly, family unity is a cornerstone of the American immigration system. We are, therefore, greatly concerned about actions taken by DHS that may separate already vulnerable children from their parents and the potential harms that may arise.

Accordingly, we encourage people to join Catholics from around the country by sending a message to Congress asking for their help in protecting these children and their families by using the USCCB / Justice for Immigrants Action Alert found at:

Finally, we ask that the faithful join us in remembering and praying for all families, but especially the mothers, fathers, and children who are at risk of being separated.

Most Rev. Edward J. Weisenburger
Bishop of Tucson

Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted
Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares
Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. James S. Wall
Bishop of Gallup

Most Rev. John S. Pazak
Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix


Declaración de los Obispos de la Conferencia Católica de Arizona sobre la separación de las familias en la frontera

4 de junio de 2018

Los Obispos de la Conferencia Católica de Arizona desean expresar nuevamente nuestra solidaridad con la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB) sobre la necesidad crítica de proteger a los niños inmigrantes y las familias que buscan la seguridad frente a la violencia al mantenerlos unidos. Muchos de los que llegan a nuestras fronteras huyen del hambre, la violencia o la muerte. La separación de los niños de sus padres en estas situaciones, ya sea como medio de castigo o disuasión, es inhumana y totalmente inaceptable.

Desde el final de la Administración Obama y continuando en la Administración Trump, ha habido un aumento preocupante en la separación de familias en la frontera de los Estados Unidos con México. De hecho, más de 700 niños han sido separados de sus padres desde octubre de 2017, incluidos más de 100 niños menores de cuatro años.

Nos preocupa que este número de niños separados aumentará drásticamente después de la reciente declaración del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS) el 4 de mayo de 2018 de que todas las personas que crucen la frontera sin autorización, incluidos los miembros adultos de las unidades familiares, serán referidas por enjuiciamento criminal.

La Iglesia Católica siempre ha puesto una importancia primordial en el valor de la vida familiar, especialmente en lo que se refiere a los padres y sus hijos. De manera similar, la unidad familiar es una piedra angular del sistema de inmigración estadounidense. Por lo tanto, estamos muy preocupados por las medidas adoptadas por DHS que pueden separar a los niños ya vulnerables de sus padres y los daños potenciales que puedan surgir.

En consecuencia, alentamos a las personas a unirse a católicos de todo el país enviando un mensaje al Congreso solicitando su ayuda para proteger a estos niños y sus familias mediante el uso de la Alerta de Acción de USCCB / Justicia para Inmigrantes que se encuentra en:

Finalmente, pedimos que los fieles se unan a nosotros para recordar y orar por todas las familias, pero especialmente por las madres, padres y niños que corren el riesgo de ser separados.

Reverendísimo Edward J. Weisenburger
Obispo de Tucson

Reverendísimo Thomas J. Olmsted
Obispo de Phoenix

Reverendísimo Eduardo A. Nevares
Obispo Auxiliar de Phoenix

Reverendísimo Rev. James S. Wall
Obispo de Gallup

Reverendísimo John S. Pazak
Santa Protección de María Eparquía Católica Bizantina de Phoenix




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