Archbishop of Detroit Allen H. Vigneron on Wednesday released the following statement, condemning the separation of children from their parents at the U.S./Mexico border:
“We have a broken immigration system, one that separates children from their parents. This is wrong and cannot be tolerated, as it traumatizes and damages the youngest, most vulnerable among us.
“Failures in the system are not particular to the current administration; they go back many years. It is time our elected officials work together to accomplish two goods: ensuring the security of our borders and, at the same time, treating all people with the respect and dignity to which they are entitled as children of God.”
In addition, the archbishop appeared Tuesday on Michigan Radio’s Stateside program, addressing our “broken” immigration system.
This interview came on the heels of a statement released last week by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, rejecting the practice of family separation. This statement was covered widely by various media outlets.
Archbishop Vigneron has previously spoken publicly about the need for Christian, humane approaches to immigration. Last year, he spoke at a St. Patrick’s Day Mass about the importance of treating all newcomers with dignity. In 2016, he referred to family separation as a “fundamental wrong” that must be avoided. His statement that year coincided with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Memorial of St. Juan Diego.