El Paso’s Bishop Seitz among religious leaders condemning Gov. Abbott’s refugee ban


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Texas Catholic Bishops are joining forces against Governor Abbott’s recent decision to turn away refugees in the Lone Star State.

All 16 of the Texas Catholic Bishops responded to the Governor’s decision with a joint statement condemning the decision, including Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso.

“At the end of this long process, we are now in, this country saying to them “sorry door’s closed…too bad,”‘ Bishop Seitz told KTSM.

Seitz is joining the Texas Bishops in the push back against Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to opt-out of the Refugee Resettlement Program.

As KTSM previously reported, Abbot made the announcement Friday, saying Texas has done more than its fair share.

“We just think that in this state of texas is contrary to our fundamental values to say we will not help people who are so in such tremendous need,” said Seitz.

The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops says the Governor’s decision denies help to people fleeing persecution, something Bishop Seitz says we see often here in the Borderland.

“Of course here in El Paso, even more than the rest of state, I believe and we have come to understand ourselves and the region as a place of welcome,” Seitz said.

Mexican officials say the number of migrants traveling from Central America through the country has dropped since last May. Officials credit President Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy and the lack of shelter available in Mexico.

Bishop Seitz says barring refugee resettlement impacts the El Paso area. “We know our state has been transformed in a very positive way by those coming to us and that’s certainly true of these refugees.”

Under an executive order by President Trump, groups resettling refugees must submit their plans by January 21. At least 41 governors have consented to resettle refugees in their states.

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