Bishop Kopacz issues letter in support of Daniela Vargas and all DACA recipients

Bishop Joseph Kopacz sent the following letter in support of Daniela Vargas, a previous DACA recipient, who was detained by federal authorities moments after she spoke about her desire for a path to citizenship at a news conference. Although the letter speaks to a specific case, he writes in support of all DACA recipients.

March 2, 2017

To Whom It May Concern:

I am Bishop Joseph Kopacz of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, Miss., and I am writing in support of Daniela Vargas who was taken into custody yesterday after speaking on behalf of DACA recipients at the press conference in Jackson.  I do not know the details of why her DACA status lapsed or was not renewed in a timely fashion, but I am writing to recommend that whatever steps need to be taken to renew her status as a DACA recipient ought to be implemented as soon as possible and that she should be released during this process.  Some have expressed grave concern at every level of government and society that DACA recipients may be especially vulnerable in the transition from one administration to the next, but President Trump has stated that he will honor the status of all DACA recipients.  I would hope that local branches of our Immigration and Customs Service will uphold the letter and spirit of the law with respect to the legal status of DACA recipients.

Thank you for your attention to this critical concern.

Sincerely,

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+Joseph R. Kopacz
Bishop of Jackson

Download the PDF here.

Media Contact:
Maureen Smith
Director of Communications
Catholic Diocese of Jackson
601-969-3581 (office)
251-753-6917 (cell)
Maureen.smith@jacksondiocese.org

Bishop Kopacz opposes SB 2710

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   February 15, 2017

Bishop Kopacz opposes SB 2710, so-called “Sanctuary Cities” bill

As Christians we are called to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. As citizens, we are called to keep our communities strong and safe. We feel that the so-called “Sanctuary Cities” bill (SB 2710) being debated right now in the Mississippi Legislature damages both of those efforts.

The bill is flawed and not needed. Its language is so broad it will only confuse an already complicated issue and could put already vulnerable people at higher risk. Members of our law enforcement communities work hard to build trust in their communities. Putting them under a vague mandate such as this one would damage that trust. Immigrants, both those who enter this country legally and those who have come here hoping for a path to a new life, may be scared to seek needed help if they believe officers and first responders have been pitted against them.

SB 2710 may confuse those seeking education services for their children or college students who wish to seek help from a counselor or other administrator on campus. All of these unintended consequences make this bill a poor proposal for our state.

We urge lawmakers and advocates to oppose SB 2710. We will, as a Catholic community, continue to work with immigrants and refugees – welcoming their contributions to our community and culture – even as we pray for a just solution to the challenges of immigration and security.

Bishop Joseph Kopacz
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jackson

Media Contact:
Maureen Smith
Director of Communications
Catholic Diocese of Jackson
601-969-3581 (office)
251-753-6917 (cell)
Maureen.smith@jacksondiocese.org