Media CenterCatholic Leaders Voice Concern Over New Asylum Rules

Andrew McConnell for CRS

You are here

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Miguel Guilarte
USCCB
[email protected]
202-541-3200

Tom Zolper
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
410-951-7110

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 26, 2019  On Monday, November 18, the administration published two notices in the Federal Register to implement asylum cooperative agreements with Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The rules would allow the U.S. government to send asylum seekers to the three Central American countries without the opportunity to access asylum in the United States and require the respective Central American governments to adjudicate asylum claims and attempt to provide protection.

Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and Chairman of the Committee on Migration for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), issued the following statement in response:

“Vulnerable individuals seeking protection and safety in the United States should be welcomed and given the chance to access the protection that our laws provide. If implemented, we fear that the asylum cooperation agreements would leave many helpless people, including families and children, unable to attain safety and freedom from violence and persecution. The governments of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras do not have the resources nor the capacity to safely accept, process and integrate asylees. There are numerous concerns with the implementation of these agreements which have also been voiced by the Catholic Church of Guatemala. Furthermore, these agreements do not address the root causes of forced migration and could further endanger the lives of people fleeing a region that continues to have some of the highest homicide rates in the world.

These rules, combined with the implementation of the Migration Protection Protocol and the continued hold of humanitarian and development assistance to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, undermines U.S. moral leadership in protecting vulnerable populations and risks further destabilizing the region. To preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, we cannot turn our back on families and individuals in desperate need of help. In light of the Gospel, let us always remember we are invited to embrace the foreigner and to take care of this human person. Let us move ourselves from a culture of indifference to a Christian culture of solidarity. We can and must do more.”

###

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuildingFor more information, visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Online Tools:
CRS Online Media Center: crs.org/media-center

Tags: USCCB

Related

Communications Writer

Tom Zolper
November 26, 2019

Tom Zolper is the communications writer for Catholic Relief Services, based out Baltimore. Tom writes and edits stories and works with media outlets to place stories that help tell of CRS' work. He works closely with the CRS advocacy team, assisting them in advocating through the media.

Tom has a deep background in journalism and communications, including work as a newspaper...More