Faith leaders call for humane response to migrant caravan

OCT 22, 2018
Contact: Loretta Kane (917-410-7242 or [email protected])

Faith leaders call for humane response to migrant caravan

Statement of Auburn Seminary President the Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson

NEW YORK — Today, President Trump renewed threats against the caravan of an estimated 5000 migrants traveling through Central America en route to the U.S. border to seek refuge. In a tweet, Trump said: “Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. [sic] Must change laws!”

Auburn Seminary President the Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson issued the following statement in response:

As a faith leader who believes that each human is made in the image of God, I am deeply disturbed by the alarmist rhetoric being used to talk about the group of people who are making their way to the southern border of the United States. The vast majority of humans do not want to leave our homelands: we are hardwired to be where our families are, our roots and our legacy. The vast majority of people and families migrate only if they think they will certainly die if they stay where they are. Every one of us would do it for ourselves, our kids and our families if we felt we had to.

“Tragically, there is no effort to understand the plight of the people coming here. Only blanket condemnation. I have seen this group of people wrongly described as an ‘army,’ instead they are pilgrims, coming to a place that once welcomed the immigrant with the lines: ‘Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.’

“Instead of demonizing this group for cheap political gain, we need real leadership that can find humane, just and impactful ways to create policy, economics, environmental and global diplomacy that can transform this situation. I urge our leaders to remember their own humanity as they consider the plight of the humans who are making their way to our country.”


Auburn is a leadership development and research institute, working to build the field of the multifaith movement for justice. From local to global, Auburn equips leaders of faith and moral courage and brings together unlikely partners to address today’s seemingly intractable challenges, strengthen communities and inspire hope.

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