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70 Catholic Leaders Arrested While Demanding an End to Detention of Immigrant Children

July 18, 2019

Today, 70 Catholic leaders, including eight Sisters of Mercy, locked arms in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience to end the detention of immigrant children. The protest took place in the Russell Senate Office Building rotunda, just down the hall from Senators’ offices. Activists are imploring them to end the immoral and inhumane detention practices that only begin with separating children from parents.

Sister Rose Marie Tresp [facing away] and Sister Kathleen Erickson [facing forward] being arrested.

Images of children kept in deplorable and unsanitary conditions, without access to showers for weeks, and sleeping on concrete floors without blankets, and being detained incommunicado have compelled us to stand in solidarity and say, 'not in our name!'" said Sister Áine O’Connor, RSM. "Scripture reminds us that the Holy Family were once migrants who had to flee their country, and so our faith compels us to be people of compassion and mercy who welcome the strangers in our midst. We are at a pivotal moment of history that demands a faithful and moral response to stop this inhumanity once and for all," she continued.

The Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children brought together more than 200 Catholic sisters, priests, brothers and lay Catholic advocates. The group—representing nearly 20 national organizations—sang, prayed, and chanted as they called out the inhumanity and demanded change. This action is the beginning of a campaign in which Catholic leaders are increasing their willingness to take significant risks as an act of faithful resistance. View a video of the civil disobedience here.


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