The Catholic University of America

National Catholic School of Social Service Office of the Dean

Dear NCSSS Community, June 18, 2018

More than 2500 migrant children have been taken from their parents at the USsouthern border as a result of President Trump’s efforts to deter parents fromcrossing into the United States without proper documentation. As Dr. Eileen Dombo and Professor Randall O’Toole, who are faculty experts on trauma and abuse, note, the psychological harm being done to these children is lasting and severe. Without immediate relief and intervention, the children are at increased risk for developing future attachment-related emotional and behavioral difficulties. Regardless of where one stands on the politics of immigration, the reckless abuse and neglect of children as punishment of their parents is repugnant!

As Dean of the National Catholic School of Social Service, I am officially joining our school to the protestation of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, whose members have condemned the practice of breaking apart families and separately detainingmigrant children. As the USCCB declared, “Separating babies from their mothers isnot the answer, and it’s immoral!” The practice of punishing parents by separately detaining their children is a violation of the sanctity of life and threatens the unity of the family. Further, it is an affront to the common good of our nation, and anathema to the democratic values on which this nation is founded.

I call on the NCSSS community to act urgently to end the separation of migrant children from their families.

I urge you to call your elected officials, write letters and op-eds to your local newspapers, and attend events in your community in solidarity with migrant

families. We must act now to end the separation and detention of migrant children! Very truly,

Will C. Rainford

Will C. Rainford, MSW, PhD
Dean, National Catholic School of Social Service

As Dr. Linda Plitt Donaldson teaches her social policy

students, “social workers must act with two feet of love; one foot steps forward to

meet the immediate needs of people, and the other foot steps forward to act with

justice, and in solidarity with people who are harmed by social policy decisions.”

Letter from the Catholic University of America (PDF)

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