Brownsville, Texas, Jul 2, 2018 / 15:13 pm
During a visit to the United States' southern border, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles called for Catholics to lobby Congress to fix the United States' "dysfunctional" immigration system.
Archbishop Gomez and several of his fellow bishops were able to visit Catholic Charities' Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, and met with migrants who are living at the center. The experience caused Archbishop Gomez to reflect on the current state of American immigration policy, and question what could be done to fix the situation.
"Family separation did not begin with this administration," Gomez wrote in Angelus News, the news site for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. "But reports of thousands of children being held in detention facilities across the country has struck a chord in our national conscience."
Earlier this year, the Trump administration announced a "zero tolerance" policy under which all illegal border crossings would be criminally prosecuted rather than sent before an immigration judge. This shift to the criminal justice system led to families being separated, because children cannot be held legally in a federal jail with their parents.