Joint statement from Mississippi religious leaders regarding ICE raids

Several religious leaders from across Mississippi have released a joint statement following the ICE raids on seven food processing plants in the state on Wednesday.  Over 600 people were detained following the raids.

The statement reads as follows:

Raids, such as those conducted on Wednesday in the central part of Mississippi, only serve to, as Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote last month in a letter to President Trump, “cause the unacceptable suffering of thousands of children and their parents, and create widespread panic in our communities.” We, the undersigned, condemn such an approach, which, as he rightly states, “has created a climate of fear in our parishes and communities across the United States.”

To say that immigration reform is a contentious and complex topic would be an understatement. As Christians, within any disagreement, we should all be held together by our baptismal promises. Our baptism, regardless of denomination calls us to unity in Jesus Christ. We are his body and, therefore,  called to act in love as a unified community for our churches and for the common good of our local communities and nation. We can stand in solidarity to provide solace, material assistance and strength for the separated and traumatized children, parents and families. Of course, we are committed to a just and compassionate reform to our nation’s immigration system, but there is an urgent and critical need at this time to avoid a worsening crisis.

We are grateful to all who are reaching out to help. Catholic Charities is organized to directly assist immigrant families. You can donate to support this humanitarian cause at Catholic Charities and go to “August 7 ICE Raids” at the top right of the website.

The statement was signed by:

Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz, Eleventh Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Jackson

Bishop Louis F. Kihneman, III, Fourth Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Biloxi

Bishop Brian R. Seage, Tenth Bishop of the Episcopal of Diocese of Jackson

Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop, MS Conference of The United Methodist Church

The Reverend H. Julian Gordy, Bishop, ELCA Southeastern Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Church of America