(WAFB) - The Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry had strong, but opposing responses to President Trump's announcement Wednesday regarding immigration policies.
Catholic Charities says Trump's policies threaten to "tear families apart, harm our state's economy, and undermine our national values."
"These measures are based on fear, without a solid factual justification and burden our nation with a disproportionate costly response to an ill-defined issue. Whenever we respond to imaginary fears rather than our hopes, when we act based on weakness rather than confidence, we harm our self-interest and empower our enemies," said David C. Aguillard, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says they have always supported a path to citizenship over forced deportation. They say that in Louisiana alone, it's estimated that:
- A path to citizenship would increase the Gross State Product (GSP) by $3 billion and increase tax revenue by $15 million.
- Deportations would reduce the state's revenue by $75 million.
- If all illegal immigrants were removed from Louisiana, the state would lose $500 million in economic activity, $400 million in GSP, and over 6,500 jobs.
"How many of us here today would live in the U.S. if these types of measures existed when our families first came to this nation with the same aspirations and work ethic that today's immigrants bring to our communities? Our nation was founded on an idea, the idea of freedom for all humans, not country of origin or ethnicity," said Aguillard.
Aguillard advocates that Catholics in particular should voice their concerns about immigration policies because of the "fear and discrimination they experience in America."
"But perhaps most importantly, these measures contradict our Christian foundation. Respect for life is not a value that ends at our nation's borders," Aguillard concluded.
On the other hand, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry applauded President Trump for his executive order tacking immigration and sanctuary cities. His statement is below: