U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Urges Administration to Protect Families, Ensure Due Process, and Respect Human Dignity
WASHINGTON - Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will be placing certain migrant families in expedited removal proceedings, a process whereby immigration officers can quickly, and absent a hearing, deport noncitizens suspected of recently entering the United States without inspection.
WASHINGTON - Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will be placing certain migrant families in expedited removal proceedings, a process whereby immigration officers can quickly, and absent a hearing, deport noncitizens suspected of recently entering the United States without inspection. While Congress did not intend for expedited removal to be used against bona fide asylum seekers, it is widely believed that its use undermines due process and impedes access to protections guaranteed by both domestic and international law. This announcement was made days before DHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the federal government will continue to use authorities under Title 42 of the U.S. Code to block and expel asylum seekers, including families with children and those attempting to exercise this legal right at designated ports of entry. These developments coincided with the Biden Administration’s release of its “Blueprint for a Fair, Orderly, and Humane Immigration System” on July 27.
In response to these events, Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:
“In February, we welcomed Executive Orders signed by the President related to removing barriers and restoring due process in the legal immigration system. Strong due process is vital for the rule of law to thrive in accordance with the common good, and we cannot have a ‘fair, orderly, and humane’ immigration system without robust due process protections.
“Therefore, we call on the Administration to reverse course on its expanded use of expedited removal, reexamine its use of Title 42 authorities, and truly promote due process, consistent with past commitments. We also renew the appeal I made in April with my brother bishops from along the U.S.-Mexico border, echoing Pope Francis: let us work together as a nation to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate migrants according to their God-given dignity. Mindful of public health concerns, we encourage policies supported by sound scientific rationales and oppose those with a disparate impact on families, children, and other vulnerable populations. Finally, we praise recent efforts by the Administration to expand vaccination access for migrants, which is critical to limiting the spread of COVID-19.
“In this Year of Saint Joseph, we pray for the patron of families to intercede on behalf of vulnerable migrant families, especially those traveling with children and the elderly.”