A Statement of Solidarity with the Victims of ICE Raids in Mississippi
Leadership of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois
August 12, 2019
In solidarity with the immigrant families of Mississippi, we cry out, as our Sister Catherine of Siena has exhorted us to do, with “a thousand voices” in recognition of the rights and dignity of children and families frightened and separated during the ICE raids on August 7, 2019, and in other similar but less publicized events throughout the state.
For more than 70 years we Dominican Sisters of Springfield Illinois have lived among and served the people of Mississippi, providing health and healing of body and soul for untold numbers of its residents, while safeguarding each person’s human dignity.
To all our brothers and sisters affected by the raids and all those who are living in fear, please know that we stand with you in any way possible. We hope that you and your families can feel the support of our prayers.
We encourage all who bear the name “Christian”—and all people of good will in Mississippi—to recognize that the trauma created by a broken immigration system unravels the bond of our common humanity and weakens the foundation of trust essential to the well-being and safety of every Mississippian. Along with the bishops of Mississippi, we call for an immediate response of compassion for the families disrupted by the raids. We encourage acts of empathy and Christian charity toward the children, women and men who have suffered this trauma. Contributions of time, expertise, and financial assistance may be made through the organizations listed below.
We welcome every sincere effort to understand the systems and policies—in our nation and in the immigrant residents’ countries of origin—that push them from their homes and pull them toward the dream of a better life in the United States. We call for an end to practices and policies that create a climate of fear in our cities, faith communities, and homes.
Finally, in fidelity to our common call as women consecrated to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we offer our contemplation of that Gospel to the cause of healing for our beloved Mississippi, our nation and our world.
|Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP
|Sister Rose Miriam Schulte, OP
|Sister Mila Díaz Solano, OP
|Sister Marie Michelle Hackett, OP
How to Help
Support the needs of Mississippi families affected by the raids.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Jackson, is accompanying families and supporting those who now have no employment with food, transportation, and legal assistance.
A coalition of Mississippi organizations including Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA) and the MacArthur Center for Justice at the University of Mississippi, are responding to the needs of immigrant families.
Lawyers are needed. Volunteer here.
Non-legal assistance is also needed. Volunteer here.
Immigration policy is complex. There's never been a more important time to understand what is at stake. Visit www.justiceforimmigrants.org to learn what the Catholic Church really says about welcoming immigrants and the gospel. Be prepared for those difficult conversations with friends, relatives, and co-workers. Your voice can make a difference.
These resources from the Illinois Coalition for Refugee and Immigrant Rights can be useful tools for helping your immigrant friends, relatives, and co-workers understand their rights and be prepared when ICE appears at the door.
Letting your members of Congress know how you feel about the raids is a simple and effective way to make your voice heard in Washington. If you don't know your U.S. senators or representative, you can find them here.