(Newark) – “Like many of you, I was horrified by the picture of Oscar Martinez and his daughter, Angie Valeria, lying lifelessly by the Rio Grande after fleeing their country to seek refuge in our country.
Equally unthinkable are the images of children in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in our country’s immigration detention facilities”: these are the words of the Archbishop of Newark, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin CSsR, who comments on the situation at the southern border of the United States due to the large number of prisoners without documents or migrants without authorization, of families and children without parents.
“Human hearts cry out for justice. We see within these pictures our brothers and sisters. We all are created in the image and likeness of God, and so are forever interwoven as one family with the Lord. In those horrible images, we see ourselves and those who are dear to us. These are our brothers and sisters in faith”, reads the statement of Cardinal Tobin.
“Children must not be used as pawns for political ends. They must not be manipulated in order to produce a picture of America that is closed to people fleeing devastating violence and poverty”, the text reads, which then concludes: “The supplemental appropriations bill before Congress must provide for the protection of migrant children. As a people of faith, we urge our legislators to rise above the tedious and dangerous partisan bickering and recognize the needs of those most vulnerable who unquestionably merit our care and protection”.
The Bishops’ Conference of the United States, with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president, and the Bishop of Austin, Joe S. Vásquez, president of the Commission for Migration, underlined the failure of the system for the reception of migrants: “This image screams to heaven for justice. This image silences politics. Unfortunately this image highlights the daily situation of our brothers and sisters: their cry not only reaches paradise, it reaches us. And now it must reach our federal government”, says the Bishops’ statement.
Meanwhile, both the Senate and the House of Representatives have approved separate initiatives to grant funding to help migrants entering the United States. Congress leaders hope to present President Trump a negotiated solution before the legislative break on July 4th holidays.