Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference Statement on Immigration and Refugee Executive Orders

People protest against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies during a demonstration near the White House in Washington Jan. 25. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

January 25, 2017

In light of recent and expected federal executive orders, the Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC) reaffirm our commitment to accompanying and supporting the vulnerable in our society, including immigrants and refugees.

We have long believed, and continue to maintain, that comprehensive immigration reform is the best and most appropriate solution for addressing immigration issues.


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Accordingly, we urge our elected officials to seek solutions that will not only help with national security, but also facilitate family unification and assist immigrant “dreamers” who, although born elsewhere, were brought to this country at a young age and know no other country. Similarly, our hearts and prayers go out to refugee families who have faced terrible violence and lost their own homes and now need a new place to live.

Focusing on building a new border wall has the potential to take us away from these important considerations that impact vulnerable families and will ultimately be useless. Pope Francis has called for bridges, not walls, between people.

It is our fervent hope, therefore, that the federal government refocus its efforts on comprehensive immigration reform and humane refugee resettlement that will benefit not only these families, but also our entire country.

Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted
Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares
Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. James S. Wall
Bishop of Gallup

Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas
Bishop of Tucson


  1. When the Catholic Church lets anyone who wants to receive the sacraments THEN I won’t consider the Bishops hypocritical for saying America should not enforce laws protecting our national sovereignty!

    Until then I think the faithful would be better served by the Bishops working to improve the plight of American citizens harmed by ILLEGAL ALIENS!

  2. “Can borders be controlled? Yes, each country has a right to control its borders, who enters and who leaves, and countries that are in danger—of terrorism or the like—have more right to control them more . . . ”
    These words of Pope Francis, delivered in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País on January 22, likely came as a surprise to those, Catholic and non-Catholic, who assume that the Church is committed to unrestricted immigration.


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