Catholic Charities Of Tennessee Ready To Help In Border Crisis

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 20:20:28-04

Officials at Catholic Charities of Tennessee said the executive order to stop family separation at the southern border is the right step and added they're on standby to assist other agencies.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed the order to keep children and their parents together after crossing the border illegally.

It was part of the "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that drew mass criticism after images surfaced of children separated in facilities.

However, the president has not backed down on the prosecution process of the policy, and he stated the country needs to have a powerful and strong border.

"I didn't like the sight or feeling of families being separated," said Mr. Trump.

"The church has made it clear that we do want safe borders, but we don't want to sacrifice the rights of families while doing it," said Catholic Charities of Tennessee Executive Director Pam Russo.

Bishops including J. Mark Spalding of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville have denounced the policy.

"We can't tolerate children being separated from parents. That is frankly immoral," added Russo.

The organization helped house unaccompanied minors in the state during the humanitarian crisis four years ago.

Russo said they are ready to help again if needed, which could include helping care for the children or volunteer at other agencies. She noted several local residents have called the organization asking what they could do to help.

"Right now we're monitoring the situation, but we are ready to act when needed," she said.