Statement from the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities Regarding the Use of the Syracuse Campus to House Immigrant Children
The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities are in complete support of humanitarian efforts to assist children entering the United States from Central America.
It is within our mission as followers of St. Francis to serve the needs of those most in need. And we applaud Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s offer of Syracuse as a safe and welcoming haven for these children when so many communities are turning them away. Syracuse, the neighborhood in which the property is located and the Sisters have a long history of serving immigrants.
That said, the Sisters need to emphasize that, while federal officials have completed an initial evaluation of our property at Grant Boulevard and Court Street and that the property apparently has passed that initial review, no specific proposal for the use of the buildings to house these children has been received. Without a specific proposal that details any such arrangement, the Sisters cannot say whether the children will come here. Should such a proposal be offered, the Sisters will carefully consider its terms against several factors, including, but not limited to: how the facility will be operated, whether the Sisters and other community members who are volunteering their assistance will have the opportunity to engage with the children, the impact it will have on the surrounding neighborhood, and the length and term of a lease or contract.
We understand that this is a complex issue; however, we pray that people see that caring for innocent children in immediate need should be considered separately from the political discussion regarding immigration policy.