We recognize, as a moral obligation, the need to protect children fleeing violence or oppression in their homelands. We commit ourselves to act as their advocates in local, national, and international communities. — Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids Corporate Stance on Unaccompanied Children on the Border (2014)
In 2014, we pledged our commitment to immigrant children and worked to see that they were cared for and treated justly. In light of recent practices that are separating children from their families along the border, we are called once again to raise our voices.
The Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids have pledged themselves to be advocates for families caught in the web of our immigration system. We, with our Associates and many friends, join with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants campaign to speak out against the practice of children being forcibly removed from their parents and placed in the Federal child welfare system.
The family is a foundational element of Catholic teaching and family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system. Children are vulnerable and should not be separated from their parents.
Separating parents from their children will not deter families from seeking safety and security in the U.S. Such a policy will not cure the pervasive root causes of migration that exist in Central America and other regions.
Since 2014, we have consistently communicated with our legislators in Washington and urged them to recognize the importance of family unity and use their oversight and legislative capabilities to:
(1) Tell Department of Homeland Security (DHS) not to separate families
(2) Prevent DHS from receiving funding for this harmful and costly practice
(3) Propose more humane solutions, including alternatives to detention
(4) Make humane immigration reform a priority and get it done