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US: Card. DiNardo (bishops) on Trump’s administrative decision, “separating babies from their mothers is immoral”

(from New York) The Bishops of the United States speak out against the recent decisions by the US Administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on immigration. Speaking at the opening of the Spring General Assembly of the Bishops in Florida, Card. Daniel DiNardo, President of the US Bishops’ Conference, called the decision to separate “babies from their mothers” at the US border with Mexico “immoral”. He then openly challenged the Attorney General’s decision to overturn the ruling of an immigration Court which had granted political asylum to a Salvadoran woman victim of domestic violence. Card. Di Nardo, joining Mgr. Joe Vásquez, Chairman of the Committee on Migration, strongly condemned “family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration’s zero tolerance policy”. Card. DiNardo also recalled that the laws currently in force in the country should “ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma”. Family unit cannot be sacrificed on the altar of domestic security: “While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral”. The president of the bishops also criticised the Attorney General’s decision, noting with concern that “asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life”: the Attorney General’s decision is likely to disproportionately impact vulnerable women, who “will now face return to the extreme dangers” of violence in their home countries. Jeff Session had justified his decision by saying that US laws could not be used to “provide redress for all misfortune”. However, for Card. DiNardo, this latest decision could affect “vulnerable women”, by exposing them to “extreme dangers” that will put their own survival and protection at risk. The Attorney General’s decision, thus, elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many other vulnerable people who took refuge in the country.

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