Pope Francis had blessed a cross at the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez during his February 2016 visit. This cross has become "a sign of unity between the countries," the bishops said.
At the same time, the bishops described the "anguish" of those who have to live on the peripheries of society. Many migrants face extortion in the workplace, fear the constant threat of deportation and separation from family and friends.
"Over the years we have seen first-hand the suffering that is caused by a broken immigration system caused by political structures and economic conditions that result in threats, deportations, impunity and extreme violence," they said.
The current presidential administration is making these realities evident, according to the bishops.
"We can sense the pain of the separation of families, loss of employment, persecutions, discrimination, racism, and unnecessary deportations that paralyze the development of persons in our societies and the development of our nations leaving them of hope," they said.
The bishops described immigration as a global phenomenon driven by economic and social conditions. Poverty and insecurity makes families feel that migration is the only way to survive.
"The migrant has a right to be respected by international law and national law as he or she faces the violence, criminality and inhuman policies of governments as well as the world's indifference."
Migrants are often subject of punitive laws and mistreatment by authorities, both in their home country, the countries they pass through, and at their destination.
"It is essential that governments adopt policies that respect the human rights of migrants and undocumented residents," they said.
The bishops invoked the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe and asked everyone to join them in prayer.