CatholicVote Files Complaint for Information About Catholic Agencies ‘Facilitating Record Increase in Illegal Immigration’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — CatholicVote, an independent political advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration seeking information about how the government and church-affiliated groups, primarily in the Diocese of Brownsville , in Texas, proceeded to “facilitate an increase in illegal immigration.

The lawsuit was filed under the Freedom of Information Act on February 4 with Judicial Watch.

The lawsuit said the organizations want records of communication between administration officials and the Diocese of Brownsville; Bishop Daniel E. Flores, who leads the diocese; Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities; Sister Norma Pimentel, “in her capacity as Director General of local Catholic Charities; and the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, which Sister Pimentel is known to administer.

A Feb. 9 email said CatholicVote “demands transparency from the federal government and whether and how it funded and coordinated with Catholic-affiliated charities to facilitate a record increase in illegal immigration.”

CatholicVote “demands transparency from the federal government and whether and how it has funded and coordinated with Catholic-affiliated charities to facilitate a record increase in illegal immigration.”

A press release issued the same day by the Wisconsin-based group said the administration declined to provide information about its communication with the Catholic-affiliated border charities mentioned in the lawsuit.

Judicial Watch is a Washington-based activist group that files FOIA lawsuits to investigate the conduct of government officials.

“American Catholics deserve to know the full extent of the U.S. government’s role in funding and coordinating with Catholic Church-affiliated agencies on the border, and what role those agencies played in the record influx of immigrants illegal over the past year,” Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, said in a statement.

“We will do whatever is necessary to find out the truth,” he said.

A press release stated that the [Biden] The administration declined to provide information about its communication with the Catholic-affiliated border charities mentioned in the lawsuit.

The tradition of the Catholic faith, due to its long and notorious history of forced displacement, offers programs around the world to welcome and accompany those who are forced to leave their country of origin. This is a position historically supported by the work of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as Catholic groups in the United States and around the world.

CatholicVote also said it was seeking “all communications” between US Customs and Border Patrol and the USCCB regarding Sister Pimentel, the respite center and the Catholic Charities agency with which it is affiliated.

Sister Pimentel, a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, has received praise, including from Pope Francis, for her work with migrants under the auspices of the Diocese of Brownsville, which helps those crossing into the United States near the McAllen and Brownsville area at Respite Center, near the US-Mexico border.

CatholicVote also said it was seeking “all communications” between US Customs and Border Patrol and the USCCB regarding Sister Pimentel and the agency Catholic Charities with which she is affiliated.

On Feb. 10, Fox News reported that Republican Congressman Lance Gooden of Texas sent the network a letter in which he questioned Catholic organizations about their role on the border and accused them of helping fuel problems to the southern border.

Fox said Gooden wrote to several faith-based, nonprofit organizations, also known as nongovernmental organizations or NGOs, including Catholic Charities USA, about preserving “all relevant documents and communications related to the encouragement, transportation and accommodation of aliens to come to, enter, or reside in the United States”. United States, necessary for future oversight or legislative requests by the United States Congress.

“I am disturbed by the growing role of NGOs in the drastic increase in illegal immigration across our southern border and across the country,” Fox said, citing an email the congressman sent to the network. .

The congressman’s letter was also sent to faith groups Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and Jewish Family Services. Both organizations also help migrants.