Joint statement from Texas bishops on separated families

June 20, 2018

We are heartened to see President Trump sign an executive order today ending his administration’s policy of separating families at the border. Furthermore, we commend him for taking this action and putting the needs of these children at the forefront.

The humanitarian and moral crisis that has escalated over the past several weeks along our southern border has been difficult to fathom. Approximately 2,000 children have been separated from their parents attempting to apply for asylum or seeking safety from the violence in their countries. Acknowledging the differences many persons have on matters of immigration and refugees, we call upon United Methodists to be public witnesses regarding the plight and conditions of these children.

The forced separation of children from their parents produced consequences in the children’s emotional and mental development. We do not know what these children have experienced in their home countries or in their journey to the United States. The trauma some children have experienced can affect their well-being for years. Howard Markel, a noted American physician and medical historian, has said, “How much our society values its children can be measured by how well they are treated and protected.”

We recognize the need for proper border security; however, separating the children from their parents was never the answer. The partisan bickering on this issue is beneath us as a people, who are ourselves (with the exception of our Native American brothers and sisters) immigrants.

We stand united with our Christian sisters and brothers from across the nation in calling for continued compassion and care for the children affected by their unwarranted detainment and separation. As followers of Christ, let us keep asking the pressing questions about what Christ expects of us concerning the separated children and what God desires for them.

We urge you, as a faithful Christian, to contact your congressional representative and senators to continue expressing your concerns for the separated children and calling for legislation to keep families together: http://www.writetoreunite.org

Thank you for your witness for Christ on behalf of the children. May God’s peace be yours today.

Bishop Michael McKee
North Texas Conference

Bishop Scott J. Jones
Texas Conference

Bishop Robert Schnase
Rio Texas Conference

Bishop Michael Lowry
Central Texas Conference

Bishop Earl Bledsoe
Northwest Texas Conference