NPHI Joins NPH USA and Religious Leaders in Condemning Executive Order

NPHI Board President, Reinhart Koehler comments on separation and detention of families at the U.S. / Mexico border.
June 23, 2018 - NPH International

Fr. Wasson at NPH Mexico, circa 1985

Dear NPH Family,

I thank Frank Donaghue for speaking out on behalf of NPH against the appalling practice to separate children from their parents and completely stand behind his statement. For 64 years, we have not only raised and transformed the lives of thousands of vulnerable children, we have also experienced first-hand the painful impact that the inability for children to be without their parents or relatives has had on them.

Yesterday, at the university graduation of one of our Pequeños, the commencement speaker reminded us that one of the hallmarks of great leadership is humility, and he went on to explain that humility calls us to especially serve those who are most vulnerable. Using the presidential power in a way that traumatizes innocent and vulnerable children is unforgivable. While the practice to separate children from their parents has apparently stopped, we urge all involved to ensure that all children are reunited with their parents and that such a cruel practice will never be allowed again.


Statement from Frank Donaghue, President and CEO of NPH USA

NPH USA has, like many individuals, organizations and religious leaders around the world, including Pope Francis, been following the abhorrent events surrounding family detention at the U.S./Mexican border, and the separation of thousands of children from their parents. NPH USA denounces the Presidential Executive Order signed regarding these separations, believing its vague directive neglects to address the critical steps necessary to reunite the more than 2,300 vulnerable children separated from their parents since May. In addition, the order allows indefinite family detention, creating chaos and long-term negative physical and psychological effects in the lives of innocent, vulnerable children. This is unacceptable.

Since its founding in 1954, NPH has raised more than 18,000 orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and our NPH community outreach programs provided more than 140,000 services in 2017. We focus heavily on efforts to reunite children with their families through our family reintegration and tracing programs, believing that when possible, cohesive families are in the best interests of all children.

NPH’s philosophy has always been to work tirelessly to allow children to stay within their own countries by providing homes, education and healthcare support, ensuring the children can make a difference in their home countries as they become adults and agents for positive change within their communities. By doing this we can lessen the frequency of those families facing heartbreaking and dangerous circumstances so severe that they seek asylum elsewhere.

Our best hope for vulnerable children and their parents seeking opportunities for a better future is to invest in countries and help create opportunities for stability, leadership and safe environments.

As NPH continues to embrace our mission more passionately than ever, we must also use our voices and power to support the families and children who cannot speak for themselves. I urge the President and Congress to work together to implement humane policies for families simply seeking a better future and to clarify its position on how to swiftly reunite with their parents the thousands of children who have been separated and detained.


See how NPH is expanding our services and helping more families.

Reinhart Koehler and Frank Donaghue   
NPHI Board President and NPH USA President and CEO




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