CHICAGO (August 8, 2019) —Chicago-based Catholic Extension announced today that it would send aid and begin a fundraising effort to assist children and families in Mississippi impacted by yesterday’s arrests of 680 people by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The aid will help the children and spouses and children left behind, grappling with the loss of breadwinning heads of households who have been detained and are no longer able to work. The program seeks to help bring some stability to this tragic moment for families.
The funding is made possible through a new program launched by Catholic Extension earlier this year, called the “Holy Family Fund,” which seeks to help immigrant families around the country facing dire situations because of detention or deportation. The funding will be managed by the Diocese of Jackson—one of the poorest in the country, which has long been supported by Catholic Extension, including its Catholic parishes in towns where the raids took place.
Fr. Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, said that separated families, like the ones in Mississippi, are “the human toll of our broken immigration system; suffering amid our nation’s inability to find a commonsense legislative solution to this pressing issue.” He said, “As the family goes so goes the nation, which means that there is no greater thing that you or I can do for the common good than to strengthen families, including immigrant families.”
Joe Boland, Vice President of Mission at Catholic Extension, who has personally visited many of the impacted communities, added “Some of our leaders say that we must strictly enforce our laws so that we don’t have chaos in this country. Unfortunately, raids like these cause massive chaos when we have a system where parents are forcibly removed from their children. This is not only bad for these families and bad for the Church, to which many of the detainees belong, but it is especially bad for the future of our society. When we break up families, no one wins.”
Fr. Jack Wall added, “While we await a legislative solution to these problems, we believe that we are not powerless to act in the meantime. Therefore, we will do all we can as a Church to help these families by offering programs like the Holy Family Fund.”
Catholic Extension is asking for donations for its Holy Family Fund. To learn more or to donate, click here.