USCCB President and Bishop Chairmen Urge Department of Homeland Security to Defer Deportation of Refugees Who Have Escaped Religious Persecution

June 20, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—ThePresident of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal DanielN. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston as well as the Chairman of the USCCB Committeeon Migration, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, and Chairman of the USCCBCommittee on International Justice and Peace, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, have sent a letter to U.S. Secretary ofHomeland Security, John F. Kelly, urging him to defer deportation of those personsto Iraq, particularly Christians and Chaldean Catholics, who pose no threat toU.S. public safety.

The letter has been sent to specifically address thepending deportation of dozens of Christian and Chaldean Catholics in Michiganand Tennessee.

While the bishops recognize that some of the individuals mayhave orders of deportation because they have committed criminal offenses in thepast, they are gravely concerned that they would then be sent back to a countrywhere religious persecution and persecution against ethnic minorities remainsan ongoing threat. The letter states that "the fact that they have asignificant risk in experiencing persecution, and even possible bodily harmbecause of their faith is, from our moral perspective, an important factor tobe weighted in the calculation to deport." 

The full letter to Secretary Kelly can be foundhere:


Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB,Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Secretary John F. Kelly, Cardinal DanielN. DiNardo, Bishop JoeS. Vásquez , Bishop Oscar Cantú, Committee on Migration, Committee onInternational Peace and Justice, Christians, Chaldean Catholics, deportation,legal refuge, refugees, religious persecution, ethnic minorities.