El Paso, TX - Today Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order that demonizes migrants and calls on the Texas National Guard and law enforcement officials to unlawfully return people seeking asylum and other migrants to border ports of entry. This announcement comes less than two weeks after 53 immigrant lives were lost in San Antonio in one of the deadliest tragedies involving migrants in the United States.
“Border communities are models of hospitality and creative cross-cultural encounters,” said Cynthia Gonzalez, Advocacy Coordinator for the Missionary Society of St. Columban. “Border communities witness firsthand the cry of our sisters and brothers desperately asking for protection and the opportunity to build a better life for their families. We consider it a blessing to welcome them. Governor Abbott's plan to further militarize the border does not solve the root causes that force asylum seekers to reach our border in the first place. His plan only adds to the cruelty of our inhumane and militarized immigration system, which sows fear and distrust in our communities. Instead, we invite lawmakers and all people to come and see the reality beyond the rhetoric.”
The Missionary Society of St. Columban is an international Catholic organization of priests and laypeople. For nearly 100 years, we have walked in solidarity with forcibly displaced communities in countries like Australia, Britain, Chile, Korea, and Taiwan, as well as along the US/MX border. Along the border, in response to the needs of migrants and asylum-seekers, we run shelters and safe spaces that protect families with young children, and other initiatives like our resource navigation project, which connects migrants with services like medical care and legal assistance. Learn more about our work at the US/MX border here.