Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said that a planned increase in federal immigration raids is "yet another depressing sign of the failed state of American immigration policy."
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Catholic advocacy agencies joined the pushback after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at the beginning of the year arrested immigrants, Central American families, who were in the United States illegally.
Central American women and children fleeing violence in their homelands seek asylum in America, the advocates said, but are treated like criminals.
The bishops recommended replacing the practice with alternative detention programs that would give back immigrants their dignity and due process.
Although the number of Central American migrants entering the U.S. has diminished in recent months, thousands remain incarcerated within secure detention facilities across the country without hope for release.
After being apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, families and children as young as 12 days old are held within facilities that not only house hundreds of people for extensive periods of time, but also lack adequate medical or psychological care for their residents.
"As we rejoice tonight, we are also fully aware that the president's action is a temporary fix and that we must continue the hard work of promoting comprehensive reform."
Global Sisters Report: Immigrants used to be released to family members pending deportation hearings. However, pressure from Congress resulted in the creation of a holding facility.
As children and families continued crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, a group of diverse religious leaders remained focused on the plight immigrants face after they arrive in the country illegally.
Global Sisters Report: The Sisters of Charity on the U.S.-Mexico border are in a holding pattern, waiting for the next planes to arrive with detained immigrant families.
After coming under fire for its treatment of released migrants, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement is looking for help for the detained.