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(Washington, D.C.) April 10, 2013 — Father Sean Carroll S.J., Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative, is testifying today at an Ad-hoc Congressional Hearing. The Jesuit priest is highlighting failures to preserve family unity in the context of immigration enforcement and offering four recommendations for Congressional consideration.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA believes the U.S. should live up to its tradition of fairness and generosity toward refugees and migrants, and uphold international standards for the treatment of those seeking refuge in this country. Improvements in U.S. law and policy are needed to protect the rights of asylum seekers, forcibly displaced people, vulnerable migrants, and detained immigrants in the United States.
In his testimony, Fr. Carroll notes that "Because of our current policies, the Applied Research Center’s report "Shattered Families" finds that 5,100 children are in foster care since they cannot be with a detained or deported parent. In the first six months of 2011, the United States government removed more than 46,000 mothers and fathers of U.S. citizen children. This reality falls far short of what Scripture teaches regarding care for the widow, the orphan and the stranger. Our current policies essentially leave many children as orphans, wives and husbands as widows and widowers and the stranger deported across the border, away from their family members who need them so deeply.

"This report, supported by our experience and service on the border, confirms the disastrous effects of current U.S. immigration policies on families, whether through the process of deportation or because of mixed immigration status. We can and must do better. Out of respect for the God-given dignity of the human person and my deep commitment to justice and compassion, I offer these four recommendations for your consideration today."

The full text of Fr. Carroll's testimony as prepared for delivery can be read here:
jrsusa.org/news_detail?TN=NEWS-20130409112712

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The mission of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and the forcibly displaced, a vulnerable and often forgotten people.

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