Immigration Working Group

The United States has a long and proud history of welcoming immigrants and sheltering refugees. We Sisters of St. Joseph live and work that all may be one — one with God, with one another, and all creation — and welcome the ‘dear neighbor’ without exception. We have been blessed to be able to accompany and serve migrant communities across this country, and we will continue to welcome them as our faith requires.

Actions we can take:

  1. Tell Congress to stop funding hate at our borders here:
  2. Speak out against family detention here:
  3. Show your support of migrants and immigrants on social media.
  4. Vote for candidates in the midterm elections who believe in the just and humane treatment of ALL immigrants.
  5. Pray for all those who are traveling to the United States seeking asylum.
  6. Consider supporting the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Lyon/Province of Mexico minister in the “Albergue Decanal Guadalupano” in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, a shelter for migrants sponsored by the diocese and staffed by our Sisters, lay partners and volunteers. You can donate directly through: or send checks to: Sisters of St. Joseph, 80 Garland Rd., Winslow, ME 04901. Please put ‘Mexico’ in the note. The CSJs of Lyon in Maine will see to it that these funds get to their Sisters in Mexico.
  7. Join Immigration Working Group Members at an upcoming morning ICOM Prayer Vigil at the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building the second Tuesday of every month.

The US Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph has released a public statement, welcoming and calling for humane treatment of arriving migrants. Read the full statement here:


Current Activities Advocating on Behalf of Our Immigrant Sisters and Brothers

How do we continue to make sense of these challenging times and act with love in solidarity for our dear immigrant sisters and brothers?  When LOCALLY, for example, there have been dramatic increases in immigrant arrests and deportations in Minnesota.  For example, there is a 3 times increase in deportations in Minnesota.  ICE raids have increased, and there is a huge increase in “collateral” arrests of immigrants being arrested while accompanying family members to ICE check-ins or waiting with co-workers for rides to work.  Immigrant arrest rates in Minnesota are up by 70% over the 2016-17 arrest rate.  This is merely one example of the changes directly impacting our dear immigrant neighbors shared at a recent event at Carondelet Center by John Keller, executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM).  “How Can We Be Silent?”

We as people of faith are also deeply concerned by

  • the “zero tolerance policy” of border enforcement practices of criminally charging parents seeking asylum and separating them from their children during detention, 
  • the dramatic increase in arrests and deportations across our country,
  • the lack of resolution for the protection of nearly 800,000 DACA-Dreamers,
  • and the dramatic decrease in refugee resettlement and the resulting closure of refugee resettlement programs/agencies across our country.

The CSJ Immigration Task group commits to “choose love,” to “not being silent,” and to find practical ways we all can welcome and act in solidarity with our dear immigrant neighbors.



Recent CSJ Statements and Reflections on Immigration:

  • Blessed be the Refugee:  Reflection from a CSJ peace prayer service
    Recently the CSJ community gathered to reflect and pray for our refugee sisters and brothers.  View two short reflections from the service in the following Youtube video clips:
    Immigration Reflection 1
    Immigration Reflection 2
  • CSJ Federation Decries Human Rights and Terrorism Perpetrated by the Trump Administration at the U.S. Border
    READ the full statement of the US Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph Leadership Council statement at
  • Building Bridges or Walls?
    “Does our faith call us to build bridges or walls? Who do we call neighbor?” These challenging questions were the basis of a community reflection at a recent Peace Prayer hosted by the Justice Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJs) in St. Paul, Minnesota ( the moving testimony of a local Twin Cities DACA youth we learned about lives lived with uncertainty and fear. With the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program ending on March 5, 2018, the lives of DACA youth and their families hang in the balance.  The price for these youth is high. The price to our nation is beyond measure. READ FULL STATEMENT >
  • We support and stand with all immigrants in this country
    The CSJ community is disheartened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Trump Administration’s “Muslim Ban” along with troubled administrative decisions to terminate the “temporary protective status” (TPS) for citizens from seven different countries, who have made a life here in the United States.  Hurting children to punish parents and to create a deterrent is immoral.  We are called by our faith to protect the vulnerable among us.   Let us not be silent. Let us remember, now more than ever, who we are at our core. READ FULL STATEMENT >

The Immigration Working Group provides opportunities for education, advocacy and action leading to humane and just immigration reform.


  • Self-Education: To increase our understanding of current immigration/refugee issues.

  • Community Education: To offer awareness activities for the broader community on current immigration/refugee issues.

  • Advocacy: Seeking opportunities to advocate for immigrants and refugees.

  • Action: To actively partner with other organizations supporting immigrant and refugee communities by participating in meetings, attending vigils, supporting public actions, and being a recognizable presence at immigration events.

For more information contact Marty Roers at