Border Area Catholic Bishops Meet in S.A. to Discuss Immigration, DACA

A coalition of Catholic border bishops is meeting in San Antonio, this week, developing a strategy to help families ripped apart by the current state of enhanced enforcement of the nation's immigration laws, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"It was Jesus's choice to help the vulnerable... the poor. And, so, we're stepping in," San Antonio Catholic Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI.

More than 20 bishops from Texas and Mexico have come together at the Mexican American Catholic College for their annual meeting, but this year, it has taken a different tone, thanks to the impending end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shielded young migrants who were illegally brought across by their parents, and the stepped up enforcement efforts of the Trump White House.

Archbishop Garcia-Siller says the church is in the unique position to help migrant families who are separated.  

On this side of the border, he says they must wrap their arms around those who see a loved-one deported, especially the children."The children are developing rage towards the father who left, but then when they understand why he left, they're against the country here.

"The church also has a large presence in Mexico, and many of the Mexican bishops are at the meeting.  They're focusing on help those who have been deported get paperwork, learn the Mexican language and find a job and a home.

He says the stepped up enforcement and increase in deportations is further driving the country apart.  That's why the Catholic Church is urging lawmakers to fix the immigration system, so families are not separated.

The debate has become so large, a representative from the Vatican is part of the conference.  Archbishop Garcia-Siller says, what happens here will be reported back directly to Pope Francis.

"The Pope wants to know, so his message can resound throughout."

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