As we watch one more massive caravan of asylum seekers moving northward, we Dominican Sisters are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters from south of our border who are fleeing violence and extreme poverty. They are seeking the opportunity for protection, for right livelihood, and to live and to raise their families in peace.
We recognize in these asylum seekers our common humanity, our shared human needs and desires, and our collective moral responsibility to protect those most in need.
We acknowledge each country’s responsibility to address conditions and concerns of safety and livelihood; we also acknowledge each country’s legitimate borders and sovereignty. However, when human conditions rise to the level of desperation and crisis, we as a neighboring country with abundant resources have a moral responsibility to respond in compassion and support.
We call upon ourselves and those who share a vision of common responsibility to the human family to urge our leaders to find a means to receive these asylum seekers, to ensure that they have access to legal counsel and receive a fair resolution to their claims, and to relocate them in welcoming communities.
We firmly believe this action of welcome will not only address the needs of our brothers and sisters, but will enrich and transform our communities. This action rekindles our country’s deep heritage and capacity for diversity, compassion and integration of untold immigrant populations. This is who we are as a country; this is how we became a nation.
While asylum seekers hope for a new life in the United States, our present immigration law ignores the human situation of separated families and the oppressive living conditions that force people to migrate. We believe that this present immigration law is badly broken and in need of reform.
As such, we support a compassionate and comprehensive immigration law that:
1. Provides the processes for undocumented persons to achieve permanent residency and citizenship without leaving the United States,
2. Creates legal avenues for migration,
3. Assures family unity for immigrant families,
4. Provides guaranteed human rights and labor protections for undocumented workers – and all workers,
5. Addresses the root-causes of migration by protecting the human rights of workers internationally.