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Sisters of Mercy Denounce Inhumane and Immoral Treatment of Immigrants

June 22, 2018

As Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a congregation of women religious recommitted to stand in solidarity with immigrants seeking fullness of life, we are appalled by the recent actions of the Trump administration regarding the treatment of immigrants and asylum-seekers at our southern border and the growing move to charge immigrants with criminal offenses. Far from addressing this assault on human dignity and basic human rights, the Executive Order issued on June 20, 2018 paves the way for mass incarceration of families and makes no provisions for reuniting the 2,300 children already separated from their parents. 

We have been outraged by the separation of children from their parents. There is no excuse -- and we repeat no excuse-- for tearing a child away from a parent. Our commitment as a nation to family values rings hollow when we allow children to be torn away from parents and placed in prison-like conditions. Even if food, shelter and medical care are provided, these children are living in an emotional desert that is destroying their humanity. We have seen photos and heard recordings of inconsolable toddlers struggling to make sense of a world gone mad.

We join with millions of others across the country to demand an immediate end to the zero tolerance policy, along with expedited efforts to reunite children with their parents as quickly as possible. This must be the top priority of the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services. We must not be deceived by the political rhetoric of compromise or a vague commitment to end family separation, only to incarcerate entire families for indefinite periods of time. These same children whose images have broken the hearts of millions of Americans must not be used as bargaining chips to pass harmful immigration legislation or fund additional enforcement. Our integrity as a nation hangs in the balance.

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