The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon

Portland Archdiocese statement on immigration, families

June 19, 2018

Portland Archdiocese Press Release,


“My dear Brothers and Sisters in the Archdiocese of Portland, Praised be Jesus Christ!

Please know that I stand in solidarity with my brother bishops in the United States in condemning the separation of family members at the U.S./Mexico border as part of the implementation of the Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. Such separation of family members is unnecessary. In its implementation of federal immigration law, the government has the discretion to do so in ways that do not separate young children from their parents. Whatever one thinks about the most prudent way to resolve our mounting immigration problems, mercy and charity dictate that we do not potentially cause irreparable harm and trauma when there is another way. We need to see the real human faces of those affected. These are families not unlike our own. In the ongoing debate over immigration issues, the U.S. bishops have always maintained, as a fundamental principle, that families must be kept together.

Some of those detained at the border and now separated from their families are being held here in Oregon. They are in need of pastoral care. No matter how they arrived here, they are children of God and the Church seeks to reach out to them to provide that pastoral care. Realizing that this is a burden for which local corrections officials were probably not fully prepared, I humbly ask that all barriers be removed that might prevent those detained from receiving much needed pastoral and spiritual care from the Church’s ministers.

I pray for all those affected by this distressing situation, and I urge all government officials to work for a just and lasting solution as quickly as possible. May God grant them the wisdom and courage to do so.

Archbishop Alexander K. Sample

Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon”

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David Evarts June 24, 2018

Thank You, Archbishop Sample for reiterating just and caring Catholic doctrine. I was very pleased to read this in our church bulletin this morning.

Gail Francis June 26, 2018

Thank you for your statement about it not being okay to separate children from their families! I taught young children and still substitute teach. I see the trauma children suffer through dysfunctional families and poverty in our own State of Oregon. This is so unbelievable that our government would cause this pain and suffering to people who need our compassion and help and love! I know we must pray and God will surely guide us away from these cruel policies!

Dr. Lawrence Rossini July 9, 2018

Congratulations on speaking out. Condemning national policy is a start. But more is needed locally, here in Portland where the actions of Catholic leaders must speak louder than words. I urge you to publicly join the committed, involved, and informed Jewish and Protestant congregations and Catholic priests and laity in places like St. Andrew’s right here at home who are working to protect the immigrants who are suffering, anxious, and under direct threat from the policies you condemn.

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