Border Communities and Faith Leaders Denounce Increased Border Militarization

January 25, 2017

JANUARY 25, 2017

CONTACTS: Hiram Soto |619.630.0694 |
OR Myrna Orozco | 202.830.7421 |

Washington D.C. – Today, President Trump announced a series of directives to build a border wall, dramatically increase detention and deportations. The Southern Border Communities Coalition and Church World Service stand united in their opposition to these directives that erode basic rights.  Building a border wall and deportation force will divide and harm our communities and close off our nation to those most vulnerable seeking protection; and it goes against our core values of compassion and justice.

Christian Ramirez, Director of Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC), said: “Trump’s border wall and extreme plans to militarize the borderlands has declared open season on our homes, congregations and communities. The border is more than a line, and we should leave 15th century walls where they belong–in the past. The tens of millions of people who call this region home deserve the same rights, respect and dignity as the rest of the nation. Border communities play an important role in our economy and are among the safest in the nation. History has shown us that excessive and heavy-handed enforcement, particularly in the absence of effective oversight and accountability, jeopardizes the quality of life and civil rights of millions. We call on the new administration to implement commonsense border policies that uphold our values and move everyone forward. Trump’s announcements runs contrary to our communities’ — and America’s — long-standing tradition of protecting the vulnerable and aspirations of decency. We will continue to fight for a nation that is fair and just, and remain committed to ensuring that the rights and dignity of border residents and those who travel through and seek safety in our region are protected, and that our quality of life is preserved.”

Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO, Church World Service, said: “As people of faith and integrity, we respond to God’s invitation to work toward reconciliation rather than sow division. Today’s announcements will divide our communities, cause grave harm to the millions of families who call the border region home, and run contrary to the proud U.S. tradition of respecting rights and welcoming vulnerable populations. Let us not forget that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph fled the reign of Herod’s persecution and found refuge in Egypt. We, too, must recognize the modern-day reflections of the Holy Family and respond joyfully to God’s call to protect vulnerable people fleeing violence. We join with communities across the borderlands and around the country in calling for policies that treat all people with dignity and humanity.”


The Southern Border Communities Coalition brings together more than 60 organizations from San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas, to ensure that border enforcement policies and practices are accountable and fair, respect human dignity and human rights, and prevent the loss of life in the region. For more information, please visit

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty.