Bishop Robert McElroy (left) and Associate San Diego Bishop John Dolan celebrate Mass on the American side of the border.
Bishop Robert McElroy (left) and Auxiliary San Diego Bishop John Dolan celebrate Mass on the American side of the border. Photo by Chris Stone

Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan, of the San Diego Catholic Diocese, said immigration raids like those expected to take place Sunday cause panic and disrupt targeted families, without achieving their intended purpose.

“The U.S. Catholic Church respects the right of nations to control their borders. However, this should be done in way that is just and compassionate,” Dolan said in a statement Friday. “The prospect of large-scale actions stokes panic, disrupting families and communities, while not deterring unauthorized migration.

“We recognize that this is a difficult time in our communities.  We continue to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters, regardless of their immigration status. We urge them to resist acting hastily on rumors, continuing to take care of their families as needed.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are expected to embark on raids across the U.S., beginning Sunday, targeting an estimated 2,000 people.

Los Angeles and San Francisco are among the cities expected to be part of the raids. San Diego is not considered a target.

Enforcement sweeps are also anticipated in Denver, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Chicago and Baltimore.

Dolan said the church wants President Donald Trump’s administration to work with Congress on immigration reform “that is just and advances the common good.”

He said the church continues to offer services for immigrants in San Diego, who can call  (619) 287-1270. In South Bay aid is available by calling (619) 498-0722, while those in Imperial County can call (760) 370-3914. Bilingual assistance also is available via email,,

– Staff reports