US Bishops urge authorities not to deport Christian refugees fleeing persecution

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The President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel N DiNardo of Galveston-Houston as well as the Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe S Vásquez of Austin, and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, have sent a letter to US Secretary of Homeland Security, John F Kelly, urging him to defer deportation of those persons to Iraq, particularly Christians and Chaldean Catholics, who pose no threat to US public safety.

The letter has been sent to specifically address the pending deportation of dozens of Christian and Chaldean Catholics in Michigan and Tennessee.

While the bishops recognize that some of the individuals may have orders of deportation because they have committed criminal offenses in the past, they are gravely concerned that they would then be sent back to a country where religious persecution and persecution against ethnic minorities remains an ongoing threat. The letter states that “the fact that they have a significant risk in experiencing persecution, and even possible bodily harm because of their faith is, from our moral perspective, an important factor to be weighted in the calculation to deport.”

The full letter to Secretary Kelly can be found here:

Tags: US Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Secretary John F Kelly, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Bishop Joe S Vásquez , Bishop Oscar Cantú, Committee on Migration, Committee on International Peace and Justice, Christians, Chaldean Catholics, deportation, legal refuge, refugees, religious persecution, ethnic minorities