Joint Statement of Bishops Kopacz, Kihneman, Seage, Swanson and Gordy on ICE Raids

August 9, 2019

Raids, such as those conducted on Wednesday in the central part of Mississippi, only serve to, as Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote last month in a letter to President Trump, “cause the unacceptable suffering of thousands of children and their parents, and create widespread panic in our communities.” We, the undersigned, condemn such an approach, which, as he rightly states, “has created a climate of fear in our parishes and communities across the United States.”

To say that immigration reform is a contentious and complex topic would be an understatement. As Christians, within any disagreement we should all be held together by our baptismal promises. Our baptism, regardless of denomination calls us to unity in Jesus Christ. We are his body and, therefore, called to act in love as a unified community for our churches and for the common good of our local communities and nation. We can stand in solidarity to provide solace, material assistance and strength for the separated and traumatized children, parents and families. Of course, we are committed to a just and compassionate reform to our nation’s immigration system, but there is an urgent and critical need at this time to avoid a worsening crisis.

We are grateful to all who are reaching out to help. Catholic Charities is organized to directly assist immigrant families. You can donate to support this humanitarian cause at: and go to “August 7 ICE Raids” at the top right of the website.

Thank you for your concern, prayers and generosity.

Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz
Eleventh Bishop
Catholic Diocese of Jackson                                                                                        

Bishop Louis F. Kihneman, III
Fourth Bishop
Catholic Diocese of Biloxi

Bishop Brian R. Seage
Tenth Bishop of the Episcopal
Diocese of Mississippi                                                                                                 

Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr.
Resident Bishop, MS Conference
The United Methodist Church

The Reverend H. Julian Gordy
Bishop, ELCA Southeastern Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Click here for pdf version of Bishops Joint Statement

Reform Not Raids