Faces of the seven children and infants who have died in the U.S. Government detention centers haunt me. Their photos hung in a cage at the Prayer Service held in Solidarity with the Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children to bring awareness of the inhumane treatment of immigrant children who are being incarcerated on our borders.
Countless children have been separated from their mothers and fathers by authorities. This horror story continues.
On the first day of school in Morton, Miss., many children returned to empty homes. Their parents were jailed earlier that day by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. ICE perpetrated massive raids on seven meat processing plants on the first day of school!
This is deplorable! Bishop Joseph Kopacz, who heads the Diocese of Jackson, Miss., likened the use of 600 federal agents in this immigration attack as an “invasion.”
I have ties with people in Morton, and over the years have spent time with the Franciscan Sisters ministering there. I met countless parents and families willing to work hard to simply provide a safe life for their children. They don’t deserve to be treated like criminals.
The sung response used at the recent prayer service keeps resounding in my soul, “Who will speak, if I don’t? Who will speak if we don’t? Who will speak so their voice will be heard? Oh, who will speak if we don’t?”
We need to be supportive voices for our immigrant sisters and brothers, especially for the children. We need to continue to contact the White House and our elected officials with renewed strength and demand that this inhumane treatment ends, for who will speak if we don’t?