Bridges, February 14, 2020


Our recently concluded General Chapter issued a strong statement, calling us to “work … for justice, … going “beyond our boundaries,” …. “ responding to realities where life is crying out.”  (JM Preferences, GC 37).  One of these realities is the present cruel and restrictive set of US policies toward immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

The president recently added several countries, including Nigeria where RJM’s are present, to the list of countries whose citizens are ineligible for visas, shutting the door in the face of thousands, including many who have been working for years to be re-united with family members here.  Another presidential policy flies in the face of the moral and legal obligation to offer safety and a hearing to those seeking asylum.  President Trump’s MIGRANT

PROTECTION PROTOCOLS (MPP) are sending people who seek our help on our southern border back to Mexico to wait out their long asylum process.  For a clear and brief exposition of this policy and its consequences, click on the link below to see a video from Raices (The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services):

The NO BAN Act currently in Congress (H.R. 2214, S.1123) is legislation that would terminate the administration’s refugee, Muslim and asylum bans and ensure that no one is banned from our country based on religious or nationality-based discrimination.  You can call (202-224-3121) or write your Senators and Representative to urge passage of this legislation.

Our sisters in California have first-hand experience of the suffering caused by our policies.  For a moving account of those detained in Mexico, read the account of Sr. Nora Pimental published recently in The Washington Post, which is attached to Bridges.

The phrase from our Chapter document, “where life is crying out…,” calls to mind the biblical text from the Book of Exodus, where God says: “I have seen the suffering of the people, … I have heard their cry,…. and I have come….”

– Sr. Rosemary Mangan, RJM

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