Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of the Diocese of Austin is the chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration. Migration and Refugee Services assists the bishops in the development and promotion of migration policy positions within the context of the Church's social teaching.
The Diocese of Austin seeks not only to educate people in understanding and respecting the dignity of every immigrant as a human being, but also to recognize the value of immigrants and immigration in our nation. We, as people of faith, not only advocate for the humane treatment of immigrants and family unity, but also support for compassionate comprehensive immigration reform through the USCCB.
In the midst of the concerns about immigration and border control, may we never forget that Christ reminds us — through the parable of the Good Samaritan — of our role to be vivid examples of the fulfillment of the love commandment. The concept of “neighbor” is not merely a matter of blood bonds or nationality or religious communion. Everyone is our neighbor. As baptized members of Christ’s faithful, we must be serious about the challenge we have been given to “welcome the stranger” (Dt 10:19; Lv 19:34; Hb 13:1; Col 3:11; & Mt 25:35).
Bishop Vásquez responds to Homeland Security memoranda on immigration enforcement and border security
Bishop Vásquez urged the Administration to reconsider its approach in the memoranda and in its executive orders.
"We respect the rule of law and the American judicial process. We remain steadfast in our commitment to resettling refugees and all those fleeing persecution," Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, said in a statement Feb. 10.
The U.S. has long provided leadership in resettling refugees. We believe in assisting all those who are vulnerable and fleeing persecution, regardless of their religion.
Bishop Vásquez says such an order could be injurious to local relationships between communities and law enforcement where building trust and supportive relations with immigrant communities is essential to reducing crime and helping victims.