Press Release
Society of Jesus Calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

In letters to President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress, the nine provincials of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in the United States are calling for comprehensive and humane immigration reform. More than 200 Jesuit communities, affiliated organizations, parishes and institutions are also lending their support to the provincials’ appeal.

Provincials are leaders in the Society of Jesus, an order of priests and brothers founded in 1540, responsible for colleges, middle schools and high schools as well as parishes and ministries that practice a faith that promotes justice. The provincials’ letters to Congress and the president urge that any proposed immigration reform include a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants as well as a legal employment structure protecting both migrants and U.S. workers, expedited family reunification and an end to policies that exacerbate family separation.  The letters to Congress and the Obama Administration follow a similar appeal made by the provincials in 2011.

“The immigration debate provokes emotion on both sides of the aisle and we hope that our elected officials can rise above partisan politics,” said Jesuit Father Thomas H. Smolich, president of the Jesuit Conference.  “Because of our commitment to educating the children of migrants in our schools, serving migrant communities in our parishes and offering men, women and children food and shelter on the border, we see firsthand the costs of current immigration laws.  We’ve been calling for reform for many years, and we’ve never been closer.  We pray that Congress considers the future of 11 million people hanging in the balance.”

The letter is the most recent action by the Jesuits supporting immigration reform. Earlier this year, the Jesuit Conference, the Kino Border Initiative and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA released a new study, “Documented Failures: The Consequences of Immigration Policy on the U.S.-Mexico Border,” highlighting excessive use of force, particularly dangerous deportation practices and abuse of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by U.S. Border Patrol agents. Jesuit Father Sean Carroll, executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, testified at a congressional hearing on the report in April.

Download a PDF copy of the letter by clicking here.


Recent Press

(Washington, D.C., April 2, 2014) —The Society of Jesus in the United States announced today that Father William J. Kelley, S.J., has been named the new Secretary for Social and International Ministries at the Jesuit Conference.

(Washington, D.C., December 11, 2013) — Pope Francis has been named 2013’s “Person of the Year,” the iconic title given to one individual or group each year since 1927 by the editors of Time magazine.

(Washington, D.C., September 19, 2013) — The Jesuit Conference, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Kino Border Initiative, and the Ignatian Solidarity Network join in supporting new immigration reform legislation.

(Washington, D.C., June 27, 2013) -- Today, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. S.744 is the product of various compromises among Senators across the political spectrum. As such, it includes many provisions that the U.S. Jesuit Conference supports, but also many that we believe are wasteful and inhumane policy choices.

(Washington, D.C., June 14, 2013) -- Three months after the historic election of the first Jesuit pope, the Society of Jesus, the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, is ordaining 16 new Jesuit priests this month in the United States.

(Washington, D.C., May 10, 2013) -- The Society of Jesus in the United States announces that Father Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., has been named the next president of the Jesuit Conference. Fr. Kesicki, who was appointed by Father Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, will assume his new position August 1, 2014. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Jesuit Conference is the liaison office that coordinates the national work of the Society of Jesus, the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church.

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