SP_OP_graphicSisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province, and Sisters of Saint Dominic of Tacoma are joining with women religious nationwide who strongly denounce the cruel decision by the Trump administration to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 200,000 Salvadorans.

Both the SP and OP congregations are members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an association of leaders of congregations who represent more than 38,800 Catholic women religious in the United States. “Rescinding TPS from human beings under continuing threat of violence of all types is inconsistent with the values and traditions of this nation and with our belief in the dignity of all persons,” LCWR said in a recent statement.

Sisters of Providence understand threat of violence

Sisters of Providence know firsthand about the dangerous threat of violence that Salvadorans face in their own country. In 1995, at the end of the long-running civil war in El Salvador that led to thousands of deaths and the destruction of the nation’s economy, the Salvadoran people were struggling to rebuild their country and their lives. Impelled by the charity of Christ, the Sisters of Providence established a mission in El Salvador, where they continue to minister today in a country whose social reality is marked by the growth of youth gangs, violence in the countryside and in the cities, and in the consequent breakup of families. The sisters offer a Providence Scholarship (Beca) Program bringing hope, the vision of a better life, and some of the tools needed to achieve it to young people in the Bajo Lempa/Jiquilisco region.

The TPS program is designed to protect people from being returned to harm, which is precisely what Salvadorans will face if they are deported. El Salvador is the most violent country in the Western Hemisphere and continues to suffer from endemic poverty, lack of access to quality education and health care. El Salvador is the fourth country whose citizens have been stripped of their right to protection by President Trump’s administration.

Friends and neighbors

“TPS holders are our neighbors and friends,” the LCWR statement said. “They have been contributing members of our communities for decades. Rescinding TPS protection for citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan, and threatening Hondurans with the same, places us all at risk. Ending their protection will tear families apart, fragment our communities, and disrupt local economies.

“Catholic sisters will continue to heed the scriptural command to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. We urge the Trump administration to reconsider its decisions and we call on Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to develop legislative solutions to protect vulnerable people.”