Statement: Jesus said welcome the stranger, not militarize the border

Pax Christi USA, the Catholic peace advocacy group, issued a statement April 10 condemning President Donald Trump's April 4 decision to deploy National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. The full text of the statement follows:

Jesus Said To Welcome the Stranger, Not Militarize the Border

“The land of the free and the home of the brave” is quickly becoming an oxymoron with the latest decision by the White House to deploy the National Guard to the southern border region of the US. This is another indignity aimed at our immigrant and refugee sisters and brothers who predominantly come from communities of color. Those coming today are mostly women and children seeking request for asylum under US domestic law. They post no security threat, nor are they the villains that the White House portrays. In addition this administration’s suggestion to arm teachers and security guards in our schools and the continuing militarization of our city streets is a sad commentary on the moral values of this current administration.

To confront areas of tension with weapons of violence is to breed more violence. Adding to tensions already present is to set a stage which is dangerous, ineffective and morally irresponsible.

Our Catholic Social Teaching stresses that equality and dignity are the result of human security (not border security), freedom to learn and thrive in an atmosphere of respect (not fear of being killed for holding a cell phone), and where the common good of all enacts sensible gun legislation (and not bowing to a gun lobby whose only interest is a profit motive.)

We encourage all members of Pax Christi USA to use our collective power to address the disproportionate and growing issue of militarism that is both a contradiction and an affront to our values as members of the community of peacemakers.

For more information about Pax Christi USA, visit its website paxchristiusa.org.

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