May 9, 2023

USCCB Urges House to Oppose the Secure the Border Act

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to contact their U.S. Representatives to urge them to oppose the Secure the Border Act of 2023 (H.R. 2).

The Secure the Border Act is a sweeping immigration bill that would fundamentally weaken our nation’s decades-long commitment to humanitarian protection. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on this legislation in a matter of days. Among other provisions, H.R. 2 would: 

  • Endanger unaccompanied migrant children by eliminating fundamental protections;
  • Decimate access to asylum, regardless of where someone applies;
  • Mandate damaging detention and removal practices, including the mandatory detention or removal of families with bona fide asylum claims;
  • Severely restrict access to legal employment for both asylum seekers and humanitarian parolees;
  • Limit—and potentially eliminate—federal partnerships with faith-based and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs);
  • Diminish the humanitarian parole authority relied upon by every administration since President Dwight D. Eisenhower;
  • Expedite border wall construction at any cost, regardless of impacts on border communities and property owners;
  • Criminalize visa overstays for the first time in our nation’s history, even if inadvertent or based on a pending adjustment of status; and
  • Mandate the use of E-Verify for all employers without providing any opportunities for undocumented workers to regularize their status—including over one million undocumented persons who make up approximately 50% of the U.S. agricultural workforce.

While the Church advocates for just and comprehensive immigration reform and Catholic teaching recognizes the right of sovereign states to maintain their borders, H.R. 2 would not humanely secure our border with Mexico or help to alleviate increased migration throughout the Western Hemisphere. 

As Bishop Mark J. Seitz, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, stated in his letter opposing H.R. 2, “this legislation contains such a combination of harmful measures that we believe its passage, on the whole, is beyond justification.” 

Please contact your U.S. Representatives now and tell them to oppose H.R. 2. To contact your Representative, please click below:

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Thank you for speaking up for meaningful access to humanitarian protection and the God-given dignity of migrants.

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