Bishop Flores: With respect to migration, uphold both law and compassion

Catholic News Agency | 1/28/2019 | Staff
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Brownsville, Texas, Nov 19, 2019 / 03:05 pm (CNA).- In an interview earlier this month, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville urged that US immigration law be respected, but that that law also consider the reality facing immigrants.

“The United States has the responsibility to vet those who come into the country and to make sure the laws of the country are respected, but the laws ought to look at the human reality,” Bishop Flores told Border Report Nov. 7.

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“We can be a nation of laws and still be a nation of compassion,” he added.

The Diocese of Brownsville comprises four Texas counties on or near the US-Mexico border, where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It has for years seen a rise in migrants and asylum seekers.

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When the number of unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the border rose sharply in 2014, the diocese's prison ministry expanded to become “more of a detention center ministry,” Flores has said.

The diocese opposed a federal government plan to survey the land around a historic chapel which could lead to the construction of a portion of a border barrier between the United States and Mexico. A judge ruled in February that the surveying could go ahead, but the diocese has vowed to continue fighting the project.

Bishop - Flores - Candidates - President - Vice

Bishop Flores was among the 10 candidates nominated for president or vice president of the US bishops' conference. The Nov. 12 vote elected Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles as president, and Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit as vice president.

In the interview with Border Report, Bishop Flores noted that “the U.S. bishops have been asking for a number of decades in terms of re-calibrating how we have written our laws to more adequately reflect the current reality on the ground.”

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He added: “In my view, sometimes immigration rhetoric in the...
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