Bishop Seitz Gets Pope Francis’ Protection on Illegal Immigration

A Texas bishop who has not been shy about criticizing Texas Governor Greg Abbott‘s immigration views said in a new interview that the subject matter is being used for political gain and is going against the teachings of the Catholic Church and views espoused by Pope Francis.

Bishop Mark Seitz of the Diocese of El Paso, where he has been since 2013, previously chastised Texas officials’ efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border—including the placing of razor wire amid wider efforts to arrest and detain illegal migrants without federal jurisdiction—as “transparently political” and part of a “broader, brutal, historical project in Texas to criminalize and police people who migrate.”

The bishop was also critical of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who in February filed a lawsuit against the El Paso-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) Annunciation House for allegedly engaging in criminality when aiding migrants crossing the southern border. Seitz said at the time that the suit was part of “an escalating campaign of intimidation, fear and dehumanization in the State of Texas.”

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