Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology, the Kino Border Initiative, and 12 U.S.-based Jesuit law schools strongly oppose the recent decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that seeks to rule out most claims of domestic and gang violence for asylum seekers arriving in the U.S.
As Jesuit organizations and affiliated law professors and advocates serving refugees and asylum seekers, we are appalled at this ill-conceived decision. It is contrary to both U.S. and Catholic values which protect the most vulnerable, including victims of violence and persecution. In the midst of the largest global forced migration crisis in recorded history, with over 65 million people displaced from their homes, we must do more, not less, to address the needs of individuals, families and communities in search of safety and security.
Protection of the individual is at the heart of U.S. asylum and immigration law and should include those experiencing domestic and gang violence. We must not turn our backs on those who are most in need. Founded on the core Jesuit values of welcome and accompaniment, we will continue to stand up for the dignity and inherent rights of any displaced person.
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is an international Catholic non-governmental organization whose mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.
The Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology represents the Society of Jesus on issues of social and ecological justice and works to increase awareness and engagement with legislators, public officials, corporations and the Jesuit network.
The Kino Border Initiative is a binational organization located in Nogales, AZ and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico working to make humane, just, workable migration between the U.S. and Mexico a reality.
Participating law schools include: Boston College Immigration Clinic, Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project & Center for Human Rights and International Justice; Creighton University; Fordham University School of Law & Public Interest Resource Center; Dean of Georgetown University School of Law; Dean of Gonzaga University School of Law; Loyola University Chicago Center for the Human Rights of Children & Loyola University Chicago School of Law; Loyola Law School Los Angeles Immigrant Justice Clinic; Loyola University New Orleans; Saint Louis University (in close collaboration with the Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry housed at Saint Louis University Law School); Santa Clara University; Seattle University; University of Detroit Mercy; and University of San Francisco Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic & School of Law.