“We are with You” Say U.S. Bishops in Calling Elected Officials and Americans to Work Together to Welcome Refugees and Immigrants Without Sacrificing Core Values, Security

November 17, 2016 By Public Affairs Office

BALTIMORE—On the first day of the Fall GeneralAssembly, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference ofCatholic Bishops, asked his brother bishops to support a post-electionstatement given by Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, Washington,and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, repeating the words to ourbrothers and sisters who come to the country seeking a better life: "Weare with you."

Below is the original statement issued November 11,and now supported by the body of bishops.

Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, Auxiliary Bishopof Seattle

Chairman, U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops' Committee on Migration:

We would first like to congratulate President-electDonald J. Trump and give our support for all efforts to work together topromote the common good, especially those to protect the most vulnerable amongus. I personally pledge my prayers for Mr. Trump, all elected officials, andthose who will work in the new administration. I offer a special word tomigrant and refugee families living in the United States: be assured of oursolidarity and continued accompaniment as you work for a better life.

We believe the family unit is the cornerstone ofsociety, so it is vital to protect the integrity of the family. For thisreason, we are reminded that behind every "statistic" is a person whois a mother, father, son, daughter, sister or brother and has dignity as achild of God. We pray that as the new administration begins its role leadingour country,  it will recognize thecontributions of refugees and immigrants to the overall prosperity andwell-being of our nation. We will work to promote humane policies that protectrefugees and immigrants' inherent dignity, keep families together, and honorand respect the laws of this nation.

Serving and welcoming people fleeing violence andconflict in various regions of the world is part of our identity as Catholics.The Church will continue this life-saving tradition. Today, with more than 65million people forcibly displaced from their homes, the need to welcomerefugees and provide freedom from persecution is more acute than ever and 80 ofour dioceses across the country are eager to continue this wonderful act ofaccompaniment born of our Christian faith. We stand ready to work with a newadministration to continue to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomedwithout sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans. A duty towelcome and protect newcomers, particularly refugees, is an integral part ofour mission to help our neighbors in need.

We pray for President -elect Trump and all leaders inpublic life, that they may rise to the responsibilities entrusted to them withgrace and courage. And may all of us as Catholics and Americans remain a peopleof solidarity with others in need and a nation of hospitality which treatsothers as we would like to be treated.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB,Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, migration, refugees, Donald Trump, President-Elect,elections, elected officials, solidarity, Church tradition, human dignity,accompaniment, U.S. security, mission, core values, family.

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