“The end of our great national tradition”

San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy joins other bishops in denouncing decision by attorney general to put a stop to asylum claims based on domestic abuse, gang violence: "We have truly lost our moral compass as a country”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions attends a news conference at the U.S.-Mexico border next to the Brown Field Border Patrol Station in San Diego. (Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, File)

A decision to deny appeals for asylum in the United States based on claims of domestic abuse or gang violence has been deplored by Catholic leaders from coast to coast. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy called a ruling by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reject such claims “a denial of our heritage.”

“For the whole of our history, the United States has been a refuge for people seeking protection from oppression,” he said. “If we are going to begin now to categorize domestic violence and rape as other than an oppression of people’s human dignity, then we have truly lost our moral compass as a country.”

He added, “This is simply the end of the United States being the haven to refugees in the world, the end of our great national tradition.”

In a 31-page decision, the attorney general said, “The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes—such as domestic violence or gang violence—or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim.”

Full story at America Magazine.

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Comments

  1. Oh, it gets worse than McElroy’s grandstanding. The bishop of Tucson raised the possibility of canonical penalties for Catholics who implement border security policies. Mind you, the bishops have recoiled at calls to deny communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion or same-sex marriage. Now one of them is proposing just that on the issue of immigration policy? The American bishops have lost their collective mind.

  2. Anonymous says:

    MS13 GANG members are terrorizing and viciously killing our youth and parents in Ling Island and now Maryland. Our teachers per Law are being told they cannot intervene. This sympathy for illegal immigrants without an effective rule of law in place is unfortunately causing our citizens to be put directly in the path of harm. Fix immigration laws now!

    • I know it’s difficult to deport MS-13 soldiers and not a mother with a toddler and infant who is fleeing them, but this Administration won’t even try.

      • Anonymous says:

        And what do you think about children who are taken away from their parents to have a “sex change” because the parents refuse to give their permission to such an awful “operation”? This has happened, but I do not hear you complaining about it. How about under aged girls who are given carcinogens (cancer causing birth control pills) without parental permission or taken for abortions without parental permission?

      • Anonymous says:

        There are gates along the southern border for families who want to come over legally, but many of the people who are bringing children over illegally show no proof that they are even related to the children with them. In fact some adults have admitted that they are not even related to the children with them. For all the government knows they have been kidnapped and brought over for evil purposes. But I doubt you give a damn about that.

  3. Jim Grisafi says:

    AJ Sessions is referring to the law as written – he is not changing our values. The law can be changed by legislation, and the clergy and laity can work to change the federal law in this area. Clergy should avoid politicizing the voice of the Church as that will further polarize our faith community.

    • You are 100% correct. Domestic abuse is not a lawful reason for a foreigner to petition for POLITICAL asylum because domestic abuse is not a political reason or motive for seeking asylum. Sessions is interpreting and applying the law correctly. The bishops don’t know what they’re talking about.

  4. Jim Grisafi says:

    AJ Sessions is referring to the law as written – he is not changing our values. The law can be changed by legislation, and the clergy and laity can work to change the federal law in this area. Clergy should avoid politicizing the voice of the Church as that will further polarize our faith community.

  5. The United States simply cannot have an open border and allow anyone from any country in the world to come and live here. There are not enough jobs, and not enough housing, and not enough medical facilities to care for all of the would-be immigrants. Granted, the United States can absorb a few families and individuals each year who would like to immigrate and live here, but only after they have been properly screened and vetted. Just because some countries in the world cannot control crime or combat poverty is not sufficient reason to let their citizens leave and illegally enter the United States and have us ready to welcome them with open arms. I just read yesterday that Italy has closed all of its sea ports to immigrant ships – they…

    • Anonymous says:

      Gosh a few members of the CCD community think we should give open borders to parents who want to homeschool their children. Is that the line you would draw?

  6. My fellow [descendants of] immigrants . . . O how soon we forget our heritage.

  7. John Patrick says:

    The Bishop is only saying what he has been told to say by radical socialists and Democratic Party.

  8. Thank you American Bishops for supporting the right to life in the womb…and after birth. These actions taken by the Trump administration are contrary to traditional American and Christian values. Cf: Matt 25:35. Thank God the American Bishops are standing up for the long held and consistent teachings of the Church.

  9. The answer, my friends, is to stop giving money to the church. Nothing. Never. No more.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We take in a million immigrants a year mike m. No one is against immigration. There is nothing wrong with legal immigration. And no one is suggesting there is. How many illegal immigrants have you opened your home to I wonder. Have you thought about letting some American homeless pitch a tent in yard?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Our national tradition has been nothing but war. War here, war over there — war, war everywhere. We fight about every thing imaginable. Does it never end???? I would like to emigrate at times, just to get away from all the fighting, but there is no paradise on this earth anywhere. It is just a myth. That’s is why I hope there is a heaven when I die because it surly is not anywhere here on this planet. So clobber me for speaking the truth, but I do not care.

  12. Anonymous: I agree and feel your pain.

  13. “Jeff Sessions wants to restore to America the ‘sound principles of asylum’ and long-standing tenets of immigration law, abandoned by American leaders over the decades. ” Rest of article @ https://townhall.com/columnists/ilanamercer/2018/06/15/a-global-right-of-return-to-the-us-who-knew-n2490978 So the supposed destruction of our longstanding principles really does not exist as some bishops claim, rather the erosion of law is what they experience and wish to continue. The U.S. is generous with millions of legal immigrants (I am a descendant of such), has 20 million illegals, and many refugees, all in need of teaching them about Jesus Christ, His love and sacrifice, and His salvation for them which is the bishops’ job.

    • Bob One says:

      Fr. Perozich, you are right. We need to teach about Jesus Christ, his love and sacrifice and his salvation. As St. Francis allegedly said, “teach the Gospel. Use words if you have to.” We need to act on and show the love of Jesus. You don’t do that by separating families, tearing babies from the arms of their mothers and taking them to Arizona to live in tents at 110 degrees. This is shameful behavior. The government does not represent our country well, in this instance. It’s time for the Church to rise up, its time for the people to rise up and tell the government to stop this atrocity. We are not and will not allow ourselves to become WWII Germany. These are people escaping tyranny,. We need to treat them well and welcome them.

    • I know, Fr. Perozich. According to Fox News there are gates along the southern border for those seeking true asylum, but some of the adults who are bringing children over illegally are not even related to the children, some are not by their own admission For all the government knows they have been kidnapped for evil purposes. Some of the teens have come over by themselves. Where are the parents? It is a mess.when not done legally.

  14. Bob One says:

    Give me you’re tired, your poor … That is the culture of the US. We are open to all. All are welcome, especially if you are escaping a culture that is oppressive and a government that is oppressive. And when they come, should we take the toddler from the arms of its mother? 1,600 young children pulled from their parents, one who was breastfeeding. Is this the America want? Is this the way we want the world to view us? Do we have to get control of our immigration policies and practices? Yes, of course. Be we should be a gentle people, a compassionate people, and a loving people. We are not the snakes our government is making us out to be.

    • Anonymous says:

      The tired and poor are not allowed to immigrate here unless they are fleeing from a disaster at home and then only temporarily.. The immigration laws favor college educated people and relatives of people already here. The administration has decided to obey the letter of the law so that Congress with cease making laws for the books that they don’t really want enforced (or that the people of America don’t really want enforced.) The government and the immigration system has been broken for a long time but it was easy to ignore. Now it is not so easy to ignore but they just want to blame each other rather than fix anything.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Please, no more McBishops in the Church!!!!!

  16. I just don’t see how this denunciation by Bishop McElroy and other bishops follows from what has always been the constant teaching of the Church.

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