Sisters, Activists Hold Prayer Vigil to Rescind Title 42
On Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, more than 80 Catholic Sisters and advocacy partners gathered outside the White House to demonstrate their opposition to President Biden’s continuation of Title 42 expulsions. Title 42 is a Trump-era rule with no medical basis, inhumanely used to turn away migrants and asylum seekers at the southern border.
The Sisters traveled from states across the country including New Mexico, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, and more. Sisters felt called to bring their concern for the safety of migrants at the border to President Biden, a fellow Catholic. This event follows months of opposition to Title 42 from the faith community including a September letter to President Biden by more than 150 Catholic organizations calling on him to end Title 42.
Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Mary Gallagher, Lois Jean Goettke, Tracy Kemme, Andrea Koverman, Louise Lears, Jean Miller and Caroljean Willie as well as Associate Chess Campbell were in attendance in Washington, D.C. S. Andrea said, “President Biden needs to End Title 42 because it is cruel, ineffective, and counterproductive. Denying asylum and expelling migrants without due process simply adds misery upon misery to our most desperate and vulnerable fellow human beings, forcing them to take even more perilous risks to reach safety, often with tragic results for entire families.”
Remarks from others in attendance:
S. Tracey Horan, SP, assistant director of education and advocacy, Kino Border Initiative
“As long as the Biden Administration maintains Title 42, they are emboldening organized crime and are directly responsible to deaths of men, women, and children seeking protection at the southern border.”
Santiago, migrant and asylum-seeker
“Title 42 has separated my family. There is no longer any process to request asylum access at the border … How many more people have to die, how many people have to be kidnapped before we end Title 42? Dead people don’t need asylum, living people do.”
Melina Roche, campaign manager, Welcome with Dignity Coalition
“We know the cruelty and inhumanity of Title 42 … These policies are designed to keep people out.”
Sherly Debrosse, case manager, Haitian Bridge Alliance
“We would make such a grave mistake to separate immigration issues from race issues in this country. This is not about politics. This is about rights. This is about pregnant women. This is about babies. This is about human beings.”
Ronnate Asirwatham, government relations director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
“We hope that President Biden will hear the Catholic Sisters who have come from all over the country to D.C. today and end use of discriminatory and racist policies such as the Title 42 expulsion policy and MPP. The southern border is open for everyone but asylum seekers, and there is no need to treat immigrants different to any other humans. Everyone has a right to migrate to escape persecution, or to seek better opportunities for themselves and their families.”
Mary J. Novak, executive director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
“During this Holy Season of Advent, as we remember how the Holy Family had to flee, I ask President Biden and his administration to open their hearts to our siblings at the border whose human dignity is being denied. Catholic Social Justice teaches us to uphold the human dignity of every person and love our neighbor without distinction. People of faith recognize the internationally recognized right to seek asylum, and call on President Biden to rescind Title 42 and end the use of MPP.”
Livestream of the event is available for viewing at https://networklobby.org/title42livestream/.
CLICK HERE to view additional pictures from the event.