DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - President Donald Trump's executive actions on immigration are being met with criticism from top Catholic leaders.
The president signed two executive orders Wednesday that some bishops are calling "un-Christian" and "un-American." The first order, called the Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, was focused on the building of a wall on the U.S. and Mexico border.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Bishops Conferences and head of the Galveston-Houston archdiocese, said that the recent executive order "destabilizes the many vibrant, interconnected communities that live in peace along our border."
Rather than focusing on what immigrants contribute, he will focus others on their crimes. Fomenting hatred for one group of people is evil.— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) January 27, 2017
Liberal-leaning prelates sided with the media, which portrayed the president's actions as "xenophobia" and "shocking in the extreme."
Bishop Mark Seitz of the El Paso diocese echoed Cdl. Dinardo's sentimentsing: "It would not only be un-Christian, it would be un-American to deny these refugees an opportunity to prove they qualify for protection."
Cardinal DiNardo added that while the bishops "respect the right of our federal government to control our borders and ensure security for all Americans, we do not believe that a large-scale escalation of immigrant detention and increased use of enforcement in immigrant communities is the way to achieve those goals."
Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, commented, "Pope Francis has urged people not to close the door on migrants and refugees."
The President's second executive order on Wednesday, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, is designed to improve the enforcement of immigration laws within the United States, including cracking down on sanctuary cities.
Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Migration, said it would allegedly "tear families apart and spark fear and panic in communities."
The Arizona Catholic Conference also added, "Pope Francis has called for bridges, not walls, between people."
Of the 30.4 million Hispanic Catholics in the United States, 14 million are foreign born. This often makes up for the difference in failing parishes. The majority of Hispanic Catholics are in the South along the border.
Trump has made national security a top priority in his first week in office. The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms, "Finally, the common good requires peace, that is the stability and security of a just order. It presupposes that authority should ensure by morally acceptable means the security of society and its members."