US Bishops Urge Obama, Congress to Protect Illegal Immigrant Children Crossing Border

US Bishops Urge Obama, Congress to Protect Illegal Immigrant Children Crossing Border

The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration has called upon the Obama administration and Congress to protect illegal immigrant children who are crossing the border from Mexico into the United States unaccompanied by parents.

“This is a very complicated problem, but its roots must be addressed, both by our government and governments in the region,” said Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle, Catholic World News reports. “These children are extremely vulnerable to human traffickers and unscrupulous smugglers and must be protected.”

“Over the long term, the increasing violence from gangs and organized crime in their home countries must be addressed and controlled so they can be secure in their homes,” Elizondo added.

Using the words of Pope Francis from his World Day of Migrants message, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, also called upon Congress to pass immigration reform.

“The time to act is now,” Kurtz said in a statement Thursday. “As pastors, we see the human consequences of this broken system each day in our parishes and social service programs, as families are separated, migrant workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings risk everything to find a better life for themselves and the ones they love.”

Kurtz said that Pope Francis stated that “migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcome, respected, and loved.”

Immigration reform, Kurtz said, should balance “the protection of human rights with the rule of law.”

As Breitbart Texas’ Kristin Tate reported Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) indicated, “Border Patrol agents were telling me with horror that roughly 10 percent of apprehended people were unaccompanied minors.”

“The people who are bringing men, women, and children in illegally are not pleasant, happy, placid coyotes,” Cruz continued. “These are criminal cartels. These are ruthless, brutal, nasty criminals. The idea that you have parents handing their teenage daughter or son over to a global criminal cartel is a humanitarian crisis.”

“Untold numbers of these teens are facing assault, are facing a life of hell being turned over to drug kingpins,” Cruz said. “It is a direct consequence of the president’s illegal actions. The parents think, ‘If I send my child [to the U.S.], my child will have amnesty.’ That’s what the president of the U.S. has said. It is the exact opposite of a humane approach to immigration or to securing our borders.”