Austin, Texas, Jan 13, 2020 / 16:18 pm
Texas' 16 Catholic bishops on Friday responded to Governor Greg Abbott's announcement that the state will not participate in the federal refugee resettlement program, calling the decision "deeply discouraging and disheartening."
"While the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops respects the governor, this decision is simply misguided. It denies people who are fleeing persecution, including religious persecution, from being able to bring their gifts and talents to our state and contribute to the general common good of all Texans," the bishops said in a Jan. 10 joint statement.
"As Catholics, an essential aspect of our faith is to welcome the stranger and care for the alien. We use this occasion to commit ourselves even more ardently to work with all people of good will, including our federal, state and local governments, to help refugees integrate and become productive members of our communities."
Several of the bishops, including Edward Burns of Dallas, noted that Catholic Charities agencies in their dioceses have partnered for years with the federal government to resettle refugees, all of whom have been screened and approved for resettlement by the Department of Homeland Security.