With the impending Vatican synod on family, church leaders are asking us to renew our support for family life. We’re to offer pastoral care that is full of compassion; honor natural law; and stand together against threats to family life.
Well, here’s a threat to thousands of families in our archdiocese: Deportation.
Last week, a brave 10-year-old girl named Jersey Vargas traveled from Los Angeles to the Vatican to ask that Pope Francis talk to President Obama about immigration reform.
The little girl’s father has been in the United States since he was 16, but was detained after he was caught driving without a license. Jersey’s father is currently in deportation proceedings.
This young girl has become a worldwide champion of immigration reform. She merely wanted to keep her daddy home. She wants what any child wants: parents to tuck her in at bedtime, read her stories, protect her and care for her.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency claims its focus is on deporting criminals who are a threat to the community. But data released by a nonpartisan group at Syracuse University show that as many as 85 percent of immigration holds involve people with no criminal record, who were detained for minor traffic violations or charges related to their legal status.
President Obama promised to review the U.S. deportation system.
Pope Francis asks us to have a change of attitude toward migrants and refugees, to “move away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization toward attitudes based on a culture of encounter.”
April features a national day of action against deportations. Let’s stand in solidarity and support these families.