Illinois (RustBelt) – Leader of the Chicago Roman Catholic archdiocese Cardinal Blase Cupich, instructed officials to “politely” not comply with ICE agents if they show up to any of the Catholic schools.
Cardinal Cupich’s directive is in response to President Trump’s controversial immigration policies. The Chicago archdiocese is responsible for over 200 schools in “Chicagoland” area, and is the 3rd largest archdiocese in the U.S.
“Tell them politely they cannot come on the premises, ask them for their contact information and tell them to contact the (archdiocese) Office of Legal Services,” said Cardinal Cupich to staff in a message on Feb. 27th.
Kevin Appleby of the Center for Migration Studies, a Catholic policy institute that advocates for immigrants and refugees, said he was unaware of any other U.S. bishop sending such guidance in response to Trump’s sweeping rewrite of immigration enforcement policies.
“Cardinal Cupich is adhering to the civil law but also sending a message to the Trump administration that his priests and archdiocese will not be assisting (the Department of Homeland Security) with their mass deportation program,” said Appleby, who for years led the immigration office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “While President Trump is using all legal means possible to deport immigrants, the church will use every legal means possible to protect them.”
The Dept. of Homeland Security declined to comment on this specific instance, but they did state that operations at “sensitive locations should generally be avoided.”
Cardinal Cupich’s action is not the only of its type being implemented across the country but it is the first action of its kind within the Catholic Church.
“We have not named our churches as ‘sanctuaries,’ solely because it would be irresponsible to create false hope that we can protect people from law-enforcement actions, however unjust or inhumane we may view them to be.”
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