Led by Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, U.S. bishops have expressed their disapproval towards the Secure the Border Act of 2023 by issuing an open letter to Congress. The letter describes the act as “extreme” and “beyond justification.” Bishop Seitz strongly supports the rights of immigrants and has expressed strong disapproval of attempts made by both Republicans and Democrats to limit immigration. The Secure Border Act of 2023 aims to address the high number of migrants who have been entering the country during the Biden administration. It suggests several measures, such as restarting the construction of the border wall, discontinuing the “catch and release” policy, augmenting the border patrol personnel, and other actions.
National Catholic Register reports:
Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso issued an open letter to Congress on May 5 strongly condemning the Secure the Border Act of 2023 as “extreme” and expressing the U.S. bishops’ position that the bill’s passage “is beyond justification.”
As chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, Bishop Seitz is a hardline advocate for the rights of immigrants and has been highly critical of efforts to restrict immigration by both Republicans and Democrats.
The Secure the Border Act of 2023 is sponsored by Republican Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Tom McClintock and supported by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The bill proposes to crack down on the record number of migrants who have been crossing the border under the Biden administration. The bill’s proposals include resuming construction of the border wall, ending the policy of “catch and release,” increasing the number of Border Patrol agents, and more.
According to Bishop Seitz’s letter, “this legislation contains such a combination of harmful measures that we [the bishops] believe its passage, on the whole, is beyond justification.”
Bishop Seitz claims that if passed the bill would “fundamentally weaken our nation’s decades-long commitment to humanitarian protection … endanger unaccompanied children and inflict harm on other vulnerable persons, decimate access to asylum, mandate damaging detention and removal practices, restrict access to legal employment, limit — and potentially eliminate — federal partnerships with faith-based and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), undermine the rule of law, and more.”
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