Written on: July 23, 2020
The following was submitted through Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc (CLINIC) learn more here. Public comments on the proposed Rules on Asylum, and Collection of Information under the purview of the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security were permitted until July 15. This public comment was sent to Lauren Alder Reid, assistant director in the office of policy for the Executive Office for immigration Review as well as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS. Sister Diane Bardol, GNSH is the official spokesperson for the Congregation on all matters of social justice. (Emphasis below added.)
July 15, 2020
RE: RIN 1125-AA94 or EOIR Docket No. 18-0002, Public Comment Opposing Proposed Rules on Asylum, and Collection of Information OMB Control Number 1615-0067
Our organization, the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart submits this comment urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to withdraw these proposed rules in their entirety. In essence, they make asylum nearly impossible which flies in the face of who we are as a nation. These rules defy common decency to say nothing of grave immoral behavior. How can we say “One nation under God” and deny God’s people a place of safety? How can we claim to be a nation upholding the rule of law when we are violating our nation’s duties under domestic and international law? On July 4 we were singing with great gusto “God Bless America.” How hypocritical can we be calling on God while we sin against God’s people! If these rules are published as written, the United States will cease to be a leader in providing humanitarian protection and protecting the most vulnerable.
We urge you not to allow that to happen.
The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart is a Catholic congregation of women religious. We are preparing to celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2021. In the course of these years we have served in the fields of education, health and social services.
Recently we served at our southern boarder welcoming families seeking asylum from life threatening dangers. We joined an organization that provides asylum seekers with food, clothing and shelter as they await travel arrangements to their sponsors. “I remember one woman falling into my arms, sobbing from shear exhaustion and almost disbelief that finally she was no longer in danger.” I prayed that the U.S. would not shatter that relief by sending her back into danger.
During the same period of time a mother with her two children arrived though that was not her original intention. She was fleeing her own country for safety in Mexico. However, when they arrived in Mexico her teenage son was shot and barely survived. Clearly Mexico was not a place of safety for them. They arrived to our shelter, her son in a wheelchair with one arm and leg held together with braces and with eight bullets still in him. That was about 9 months ago.
The flow of refugees has slowed to a just a very few per week, if any. But that’s not because there’s no need; that was and is the purpose of the wrongly named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and continues more thoroughly and vehemently in the proposed Rules on Asylum and Collection Information. Now with all those restrictions, those arriving are being brought in by suspected “coyotes” who turn them over to traffickers. How can you, how can we live with that?
No matter how many rules we create or rescind, the immoral result remains the same – economy over humanity, shamefully inhumane, shamefully un-Christian, shamefully a mockery of who we claim to be!
Sister Diane Bardol, GNSH
Social Justice Coordinator, Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart