US Roman Catholics in conflict with president-elect over migration policy
Following the November 8 presidential election, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, head of the USCCB, said, “I congratulate Mr Trump and everyone elected yesterday.”
He continued, “We will advocate for policies that offer opportunity to all people, of all faiths, in all walks of life. We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security.”
In Trump’s 100-Day Plan, he stated he will “suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.”
The USCCB has lobbied for an increase in refugees, the vast majority of which are Muslim. In October the bishops appealed to the U.S. government to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year, along with an additional 100,000 from other countries. Christians make up less than 5 percent of Syrian refugees, Church Militant news reported.
In 2014 the USCCB received grants for its migration office totalling nearly $80 million from the Obama administration, leading some to believe the bishops won’t part ways easily with such money.
In spite of the differences of opinion on immigration, the bishops and Trump were of one mind with regard to religious liberty and issues of life.
“The Bishops Conference looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning to its natural end,” Archbishop Kurtz said.
Trump has promised in the past to elect a pro-life justice to the Supreme Court. In a previous interview, he said, “I will protect [human life] and the biggest way you can protect it is through the Supreme Court and putting people in the Court, and actually the biggest way [you] can protect it, I guess, is by electing me president.”
In Trump’s plan for his first 100 days in office, he has reaffirmed his parallel plan to overturn Roe v. Wade and says he will “begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
In line with Trump’s election victory speech, Archbishop Kurtz reiterated, “Every election brings a new beginning. Some may wonder whether the country can reconcile, work together and fulfill the promise of a more perfect union. Through the hope Christ offers, I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite.”