For many years the Bishops of the United States have promoted immigration reform that is both comprehensive and compassionate. I have consistently and strongly supported that call.
President Trump’s recent executive orders about immigrants and refugees do not move us toward that goal. The executive orders were ill-timed and poorly communicated; they caused widespread confusion and division. They have created a damaging pothole on the road to secure refugee resettlement and meaningful immigration reform.
In November, after Mr. Trump was elected, I said the following: “I extend my prayerful support for immigrants and refugees who have settled in Rhode Island. The Catholic Church will continue to be a welcoming community, and we will offer material, pastoral and spiritual care to all, especially those in need. May we all work together to promote the common good and encourage a spirit of peace and harmony in our community.”
I repeat those words today, and I again commit the Diocese of Providence to welcoming and working with immigrants and refugees who come to us looking for safety and security, and to make a new beginning for themselves and their families. To do so is an expression of our faith and is fully consistent with our national heritage.