CEO Letter

Message from Catholic Charities of Santa Clara’s CEO, Gregory R. Kepferle, on Detaining Families at the Border

June 20, 2018

Dear Friends,

We need your help now to end the federal policy of detaining families at the border. Most of these families crossing the border are fleeing for human survival. They will either get killed with their children or escape from the country to risk their chance for safety. They will abide by the law given the chance to present their cases before immigration authorities. Detaining families creates lasting trauma, especially to the children.

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County urges the federal administration to immediately stop criminalizing immigrants seeking refuge from harm and death. We urge Congress to take action to stop the administration from detaining families and children who are fleeing violence and oppression. As our own Bishop McGrath has pointed out, Congress needs to include the good of families in its deliberations and “let us treat with compassion those who today knock on the door of our hearts.”

Catholic Charities provides Refugee Foster Care (RFC) to children who have been separated from their parents and have been approved for residency in the U.S. by the federal government. We also provide Immigration Legal Services (ILS) for families seeking to get right with the law and to keep their family together.

How you can help:

1. Learn the facts. Visit the Justice For Immigrants webpage. For FAQ’s – Immigration Myths and Facts, please click here.

2. Advocate. Speak up! Contact your senators and representative directly by phone to voice your concern. You can find the number for your representative here, and your senators here. If you have family and friends in other states, ask them to contact their senators and representatives, as well.

3. Sign-up to become a refugee foster parent or to provide a host home to refugee children. Call RFC at (866) 842-1467 or email for more information. Volunteer to support our ILS team educate the immigrant community about their rights under the law. Call ILS at (408) 944-0691 or email

4. Donate. Support our sister Catholic Charities agencies on the border as they seek to help the parents and their children, by donating to Catholic Charities USA. Click here to Give. 100% of your donation will go to the 21 Catholic Charities agencies assisting unaccompanied children.

5. Pray. Hold vigil services and pray both privately and publicly for the safety and wellbeing of these parents and children.

It is sadly ironic that as we celebrate World Refugee Day, honoring the sacrifices of refugees and asylum seekers around the world, that our own government is locking up families including innocent children, who are being brought to America for their own safety.

As people of faith, we are called to obey God's law of love for those who are poor and oppressed above all else, to "welcome the stranger away from home." I invite you to join Catholic Charities as we stand in solidarity with families and young children.

Gregory R. Kepferle, CEO