DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - The U.S. Catholic hierarchy is coming out strongly against President Donald Trump's executive orders on illegal immigration and migration of refugees into the United States. The chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Migration, Bp. Joe Vásquez, released an official statement raising concerns about the 45th president's decision to defund sanctuary cities.
The statement reads in part, "I am concerned, however, by the executive order issued by the president on January 25, 2017. This order would force all jurisdictions to accept a one-size-fits-all regime that might not be best for their particular jurisdictions."
Vásquez went on to say, "We know that cooperative relationships between law enforcement and immigrant communities are vital. I fear that this executive order may be injurious to that vital necessity."
Trump is defending his decision, saying, "To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe."
Trump repeatedly pledged during his campaign that he would cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities.
In his January 25 executive order, the president stated, "Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States. These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic."
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco claims immigrants will "know their rights" and will be "protected."
San Diego Bp. Robert McElroy has also come out against Trump's rhetoric on immigration. In an article for America Magazine, he wrote, "The recent election campaign was deeply marred by exclusionary rhetoric and proposals that have driven deep wedges into our culture and raised the specter of imposing exclusionary government policies that target specific groups on the margins of our society."
In contrast to the outrage over Trump's executive orders on immigration, some are pointing to the lack of reaction by the U.S. bishops on Trump's pro-life positions both before the election and since his inauguration. During the campaign, Hillary Clinton received relatively little public condemnation from the bishops for her pro-abortion views.
The chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cdl. Timothy Dolan, in spite of his past criticism of Trump over his immigration policy, did praise dis decision to reinstate the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits federal funds from funding abortions overseas.