~ by Rhina Guidos, Catholic News Service
Washington – Several U.S. Catholic bishops slammed the actions of Republican politicians who have recently begun to send out of their states groups of women, children, and men seeking refuge.
They said these politicians are falsely telling the migrants that work, food and other benefits await them if they get on planes to other locales, but instead the only thing they find on the other end of the trip is confusion.
“To use migrants and refugees as pawns offends God, destroys society and shows how low individuals can (stoop) for personal gains,” wrote San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller on September 18.
He was one of several bishops to speak out after the latest drop-off of migrants – two groups of mostly Venezuelans who were flown on September 14 to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Some of the migrants have been sent from border states such as Texas and Arizona to Washington and New York in planes and sometimes buses. Some were recently dropped of near Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington, D.C. without prior notice to local officials.
Volunteers in those cities, including faith-based nonprofits such as Catholic Charities, have scrambled to help the newcomers confused by the situation.
“The problem is not the refugees, it is leaders that cannot accept: We are one humanity,” Garcia-Siller said, adding that we would be praying for “conversion of heart” and for the protection of brothers and sisters in need.
Though taken by surprise, the community of Martha’s Vineyard pulled together to help with the sudden arrival of migrants on September 14. In a September 16 statement, Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha of Fall River, Massachusetts, said the community responded in the manner the Gospel tells Christians to care for the stranger, citing St. Matthew’s Gospel: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.”
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