Catholic leader calls separating mothers and children at border 'immoral'

The president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops criticized President Donald Trump's administration over immigr...

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 4:50 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2018 4:50 PM

The president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops criticized President Donald Trump's administration over immigration policy on Wednesday, declaring that separating mothers and children at the US border is "immoral."

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the organization, said in a statement, "Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral."

DiNardo's statement was released at the conference's spring meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

CNN reported in May that the Trump administration had decided to refer anyone found crossing into the US illegally for federal prosecution, meaning that adults coming across the border with children will be separated from them as the parents await their criminal proceedings. The move is expected to lead to a sharp uptick in the number of children separated from parents at the border.

DiNardo also said the administration's recent move to overturn asylum protections for victims of domestic violence "elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection."

Calling asylum "an instrument to preserve the right to life," he warned, "Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives."

Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, responded to DiNardo's comments:

"DHS does not have a policy of separating families at the border. As part of long-standing policy, DHS is increasing referrals of illegal border crossers who violate our nation's sovereignty to DOJ for prosecution. Every day in communities across the country -- if you commit a crime the police will take you to jail -- regardless if you have a family or not. ... Illegal aliens should not get different -- even better -- rights because they happen to be illegal aliens."

The Justice Department declined to comment. CNN also reached out to the White House for comment.

Though Wednesday's remarks may be its most forceful to date, this isn't the first time the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has criticized the administration's immigration proposals.

For example, Bishop Joe V-squez, who chairs the conference's Committee on Migration, spoke out against forced family separations earlier in June, saying they are "contrary to our Catholic values."

Later Wednesday, Cardinal Se-n P. O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, released a statement calling for an end to the "harmful and unjust policy," saying in part, "As a Catholic bishop, I support political and legal authority. I have always taught respect for the civil law and will continue to do so. But, I cannot be silent when our country's immigration policy destroys families, traumatizes parents, and terrorizes children."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Jackson488488
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Jones298484
Washington2644100
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Attala80927
Clarke78353
Clay71522
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Walthall64827
Calhoun63613
Smith60816
Noxubee60317
Yalobusha56616
Montgomery56523
Lawrence55314
Claiborne54216
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Perry52823
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Stone49814
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Humphreys45817
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Jefferson Davis42412
Quitman4246
Webster38213
Benton36911
Wilkinson34321
Kemper33415
Sharkey29115
Jefferson28110
Franklin2533
Choctaw2096
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 162720

Reported Deaths: 2735
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23940385
Mobile17123319
Tuscaloosa10602141
Montgomery10503199
Madison955798
Shelby760565
Baldwin676869
Lee664965
Calhoun476562
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Jackson225317
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Colbert210232
Franklin209432
Blount200925
Russell19833
Chilton192332
Dallas189227
Dale184952
Coffee183611
Covington177329
Escambia175831
Clarke138717
Chambers138047
Tallapoosa137287
Pike136414
Marion110931
Barbour10559
Marengo104622
Butler101941
Winston94713
Geneva9427
Pickens89018
Lawrence88533
Bibb86115
Randolph84616
Hale78130
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Clay76312
Washington75812
Henry7316
Lowndes72128
Monroe66310
Bullock65117
Crenshaw61230
Fayette59913
Perry5996
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Wilcox57112
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Sumter48621
Choctaw39512
Greene34516
Coosa2173
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