US and Mexican bishops to discuss vigilante border patrols

.- The president of the Bishops Committee on Human Mobility, Bishop Renato Ascencio León of Ciudad Juarez, said this week bishops from his country and the US will meet in El Paso, Texas, on June 23 to discuss the problem of border patrols by vigilante groups such as the Minutemen, whose activities might spread to other parts of the US/Mexican border. The bishop said the Mexican Bishops Conference is aware of the Minutemen group, an organization that is independently patrolling the border in Arizona and picking up illegal immigrants and that may begin patrolling the border in Texas and California.

Bishop Ascencio stated that these groups “have all of our repudiation” and he noted that immigrants “are not guerillas, terrorists or evildoers,” but rather persons “who want to be given an opportunity to improve their lives.”  He added that pastoral workers from both countries will attend the meeting.

“We ought to address this case in particular,” Bishop Ascencio explained.  “I know that the US bishops have made some statements on this matter and have approached authorities to request that this be stopped.”

“I hope our words as pastors will reach these people and make them realize they cannot have xenophobic attitudes against people who are seeking to improve their way of life,” the bishop stated.

He recalled that immigrants “are our brothers and sisters regardless of race, religion, or nationality,” and that this “is the message that the Lord Jesus left us as an inheritance.”

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