National Stance of the USA Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur against the passage and implementation of unjust laws for immigrants
As women of purpose and faith, we, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur of the United States, affirm the dignity and value of each person, race and nation. Our faith demands that we address attitudes, values and structures in society which deny basic dignity and human rights to all.
We also believe it is our Christian responsibility to stand in solidarity with and work with individuals and organizations which seek to ensure human rights for all, especially political, social and economic rights. Therefore, we join our Sisters of the California Province in opposing Proposition 187 and all similar restrictive and discriminatory legislation at both the state and federal level. Such legislation is contrary to Catholic social teaching and our biblical tradition, which teaches love of the stranger as onself (Leviticus 19:33-34).
We will not remain silent about growing anti-immigrant sentiment throughout the United States. To deny access to basic human services to anyone in need, whatever their documentation status, is an affront to human dignity and morally wrong. Such legislation is contrary also to the founding principles of our country who strength lies in its diversity. It divides our communities, and encourages bigotry and racism.
Therefore, we pledge to uphold the dignity and rights of all persons, especially the immigrants in our midst by:
- educating ourselves and others to the evils of racism and consciously working to change racist attitudes within ourselves, and other others, and racist structures, when the opportunity arises;
- reflection and action that address the root causes of racial and social injustices which form the basis of attacks on immigrants;
- promoting respect for and appreciation of the diversity of cultures and gifts with which this country is blessed;
- seeking ways to accompany immigrants most affected by unjust laws; opposing punitive legislation on a state and federal level, that denies their basic human rights and services (ie. immigration reform, verification activities, welfare reform that affects immigrants);
- supporting organizations in the health, education, social service, and protection fields, and individuals who, as a matter of conscience, will resist the implementation of Proposition 187 and other unjust immigrant laws on a federal and state level.
As educators and women in pastoral and social services, we pledge to model, teach, and advocate for the human rights of all people.