Religious officials release joint statement regarding recent Miss. ICE raids

Religious officials release joint statement regarding recent Miss. ICE raids
Feelings of fear and desperation are exploding in immigrant communities across the country. (Source: CNN)

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Religious officials from across Mississippi released a joint statement Friday regarding recent raids at food processing plants by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Raids, such as those conducted on Wednesday in the central part of Mississippi, only serve to, as Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote last month in a letter to President Trump, "cause the unacceptable suffering of thousands of children and their parents, and create widespread panic in our communities." We, the undersigned, condemn such an approach, which, as he rightly states, "has created a climate of fear in our parishes and communities across the United States."

To say that immigration reform is a contentious and complex topic would be an understatement. As Christians, within any disagreement we should all be held together by our baptismal promises. Our baptism, regardless of denomination calls us to unity in Jesus Christ. We are his body and, therefore, called to act in love as a unified community for our churches and for the common good of our local communities and nation. We can stand in solidarity to provide solace, material assistance and strength for the separated and traumatized children, parents and families. Of course, we are committed to a just and compassionate reform to our nation’s immigration system, but there is an urgent and critical need at this time to avoid a worsening crisis.

We are grateful to all who are reaching out to help. Catholic Charities is organized to directly assist immigrant families. You can donate to support this humanitarian cause at: https://catholiccharitiesjackson.org/ and go to “August 7 ICE Raids” at the top right of the website.

Thank you for your concern, prayers and generosity.

Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz Eleventh Bishop Catholic Diocese of Jackson

Bishop Louis F. Kihneman, IIIFourth BishopCatholic Diocese of Biloxi

Bishop Brian R. SeageTenth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jackson

Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr.Resident Bishop, MS ConferenceThe United Methodist Church

The Reverend H. Julian GordyBishop, ELCA Southeastern SynodEvangelical Lutheran Church of America

More than 600 people were detained Wednesday in what is being called the largest single-state worksite enforcement operation in the nation’s history. Nearly 300 of those people were released Thursday on humanitarian grounds, according to a spokesman from Homeland Security Investigation.

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