US bishops call for the protection of the human dignity of migrants, as US authorities expand a policy that prevents migrants from entering the United States without recourse or due process.
By the editor of Vatican News
Amid the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant, US authorities have renewed a public health order dating from the previous administration, which allows US authorities to quickly deport migrants arriving at the borders, in the absence of ‘court hearings.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement explaining the rule, saying it “will remain in effect until the CDC director determines the danger of a further introduction of Covid. -19 in the United States from covered non-citizens has ceased to be a serious danger to public health, and the order is no longer necessary to protect public health.
In response to this latest development, the bishops of the United States have called on authorities to backtrack on the expanded use of the Expedited Elimination of Title 42 policy, and to reconsider its use, particularly in light of the commitments. past efforts of the United States to re-establish due process in the legal immigration system.
Guarantee due process and the protection of asylum seekers
In a statement released on Saturday by the chairman of the USCCB committee on migration, Bishop Mario Dorsonville, the bishops stressed that they welcomed the decrees signed by President Joe Biden in February, related to the removal of obstacles and the re-establishment of due process in the immigration system.
The orders included actions to address the root causes of migration from Central America and to expand the possibilities for legal migration; the creation of a working group to reunite families separated during the previous administration; and strengthen integration and inclusion efforts for new Americans.
The bishops further noted that “although Congress did not intend to use expedited removal against bona fide asylum seekers, it is widely believed that its use undermines due process and hinders access to protections guaranteed by national and international law ”.
Several advocacy groups that pushed to end the policy have long argued that Title 42 was used less as a means of controlling the spread of the coronavirus, and more as a means of curbing migration and easing political pressure from political opponents. . So far, tens of thousands of migrants have been deported to Mexico using the Title 42 ordinance.
“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 strong due process protections,” the officials stressed. bishops.
Appeal to the American authorities
Reiterating Pope Francis’ many calls for the protection of migrants, the bishops urged the Biden administration to work “as a nation to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants according to their God-given dignity.”
While stressing the importance of being attentive to public health issues, the bishops further expressed their encouragement for policies supported by strong justifications, and declared their opposition to those “having a disparate impact on families, children and other vulnerable populations ”.
In this regard, they acknowledged the administration’s recent efforts to expand access to vaccination for migrants – a move, they added, which is “critical to limiting the spread of Covid-19”.
The bishops concluded their declaration by invoking the intercession of Saint Joseph, patron saint of families, which the Church celebrates this year, to “intercede on behalf of vulnerable migrant families, especially those traveling with children and the elderly” .