“This is not a war zone”

San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy joins fellow bishops with dioceses along U.S.-Mexico border in statement regarding deployment of National Guard

McElroy photo-op at the Mexican border [photo by Chris Stone]

In response to announcements regarding deploying the U.S. National Guard to the U.S./Mexico Border, the U.S. Catholic Bishops of the U.S.-Mexico Border, including San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, issued the following statement: 

“We are deeply concerned by the announcement that the National Guard will be deployed on the U.S./Mexico Border. The continued militarization of the U.S./Mexico Border distorts the reality of life on the border; this is not a war zone but instead is comprised of many peaceful and law-abiding communities that are also generous in their response to human suffering.  

“We recognize the right of nations to control and secure their borders; we also recognize the need of nations to respect the rule of law. Current law in the United States rightly provides that those arriving to our country fleeing persecution are entitled to due-process as their claims are reviewed. Seeking refuge from persecution and violence in search of a peaceful life for oneself and one’s family is not a crime. Our faith calls us to respond with compassion to those who suffer, and to live in a spirit of solidarity with all human beings. 

“We remain hopeful that our local, state and federal officials will work collaboratively and prudently in the implementation of this deployment, ensuring that the presence of the National Guard is measured and not disruptive to community life. We are also deeply concerned that at this time divisive rhetoric often promotes the dehumanization of immigrants, as if all were threats and criminals. 

“We urge Catholics and people of good will to look past the dehumanizing rhetoric regarding immigrants and remember that they are a vulnerable population, our neighbors, and our sisters and brothers in Christ.”

From Diocese of San Diego website.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Was anyone concerned when Obama or Bush deployed national guard to the same border?

  2. It is a war zone, ask the border patrol agents, some of whom are of this bishop’s flock. They have awful stories too. God bless them as they do a difficult job without the support of their bishop.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad I don’t live in McElroy’s diocese.

    • san carlo says:

      Bp. McElroy does not speak alone. He speaks for his several friends in the Catholic episcopacy who support his every word. I have to live under one such bishop.

  4. Yes — there is an innate, God-given human right to travel … and emigrate, should extraordinary circumstances require it.

    No — there is no innate right to immigrate, ordinarily.

    Without the consent of whomever has legitimate dominion / ownership / stewardship of the destination, such immigration is trespassing.

    “Extraordinary circumstances” is a pretty high bar (starvation / death / injury imminent), and this case, from what I’ve learned thus far, isn’t even close.

    Apologies for my “divisive rhetoric”.

  5. Dave Ryan says:

    And you wonder why Mass attendance is down?

  6. Faithful and True says:

    If USCCB is truly concerned – why not advocate for human rights abuses IN THE COUNTRY IF ORIGIN? Immigrants come here because of corruption in their native countries. Why not speak to this issue?

  7. Claudia G says:

    Bishop McElroy is the epitome of what is wrong with so many Catholic clergy. He is allowing himself to be a pawn of the socialist, nihilist Left—-George Soros and friends.

    You will never see Bishop McElroy doing a publicity stunt at an abortion mill wall.

  8. Joel Fago says:

    It IS a war zone against terrorism.

  9. The Bishop should stick to teaching about Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. We can be saved according to our free will. Oh, I forgot the Catholic Church is under new administration from Rome. s/

  10. The US-Mexico International Border IS AN ACTIVE WAR ZONE, BISHOP MC ELROY. At this time there is a convoy of would-be immigrants from a variety of countries in Central and South America making their way toward the US border in the hope of illegally crossing into the United States. The United States has a most sacred obligation to its citizens and those other people who are legally in the country to protect them. No person has the right to move to any other country without first documenting that they will be able to take care of themselves. One more thing – In GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE Pope Francis writes that migration should not be seen as a secondary or lesser issue to grave bioethical questions such as abortion. Sorry Pope Francis but…

  11. Clementine says:

    It is the border of a sovereign nation that government has every right to protect and defend.

  12. The bishop wishes to integrate people into a peaceful society. He does’t speak Spanish, nor has lived in Latin America. He lives in a protected spaces in San Diego, in a protected world of political science, moral theology, social work. I lived in Honduras 3 years with deaths each day all over the city, drug violence, lack of faith in Jesus Christ, declining Catholic Church membership, eschewing of marriage, destruction of family, sexual license, gangs. Indeed this life is creeping to the southern border of the U.S. and will root here when it crosses. Preach the faith in Jesus, bishop. Change hearts in love and faith in Christ, not socialism, and the world will change, people will love their homeland where God has placed them.

    • Good people are trying to escape evil by coming to the U.S. With the wheat will be the weeds: gangs, traffickers in drugs and people, faithless. While Jesus will sort it all at the end of time, our nation can sort it out for us right now to protect the innocent and hold back those who would harm us.

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