USCCB President Makes Thanksgiving Day Appeal for Protection of the Vulnerable, Especially Migrant "& Refugee Families

November 20, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N.DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops (USCCB), offers a Thanksgiving Day message to the nation with specialgratitude for the giftof immigrants and refugees.

Full statement follows:

"Aswe do every year, we will pause this coming Thursday to thank God for the manyblessings we enjoy in the United States. My brother bishops and I,gathered last week in Baltimore, were attentive in a special way to those whoare often excluded from this great abundance—the poor, the sick, the addicted,the unborn, the unemployed, and especially migrants and refugees.

Mybrothers expressed a shared and ever-greater sense of alarm—and urgency toact—in the face of policies that seemed unthinkable only a short timeago: the deportation of Dreamers, young hard-working people who should bethe lowest priority for deportation; the anxiety and uncertainty of those withTemporary Protected Status from countries like Haiti, El Salvador, andHonduras, which are still recovering from natural disasters and remainill-equipped to humanely receive and integrate them; and an unprecedentedreduction in the number of people we will welcome this year into our countrywho seek refuge from the ravages of war and religious persecution in theircountries of origin.

Onecommon feature of all these developments is their tendency to tear apart thefamily, the fundamental building block of our, or any, society. Thesethreats to so many vulnerable immigrant and refugee families must endnow. My brothers have urged me to speak out on their behalf to urge theimmediate passage—and signature—of legislation that would alleviate theseimmediate threats to these families.

Anothercommon feature of these policies is that they are symptoms of an immigrationsystem that is profoundly broken and requires comprehensive reform. Thisis a longer-term goal, one that the bishops have advocated for decades toachieve, and one that must never be overlooked. Only by complete reformwill we have the hope of achieving the common goals of welcoming the mostvulnerable, ensuring due process and humane treatment, protecting nationalsecurity, and respecting the rule of law. We are committed to such reforms andwill continue to call for them.

Sothis year, I give thanks for the gift and contributions of immigrants andrefugees to our great nation. I also pray that next year, families now underthreat will not be broken and dispersed, but instead will be united in joyaround their tables, giving thanks for all the blessings our nation has tooffer.

Havea Happy Thanksgiving all!"

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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, ThanksgivingDay, America, blessings, migrants, refugees, comprehensive reform, familyreunification

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