The head of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa says Governor Terry Branstad showed a “lack of compassion” when Branstad said he does not want any of the unaccompanied children from Central America who are crossing into the southern U.S. to wind up in Iowa.
Connie Ryan Terrell, the executive director of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, says the state has a history of welcoming immigrants and many in Iowa’s faith community are “greatly disappointed” with Branstad.
“If you look back to the 1970s, (former Iowa) Governor Ray was really the lead governor in our nation that worked to provide safe refuge for people coming from Southeast Asia and really was the instigator across the nation to get other governors to do likewise,” she says.
Ryan-Terrell says the state’s “faith community” is asking Branstad to “reconsider his position” and “open the doors of Iowa” to the Central American children who’ve recently entered the U.S.
On Monday Branstad said he has “empathy” for the kids, but it would send “the wrong signal” to transport the children who have entered the country illegally to Iowa.
At the end of June Iowa’s four Catholic bishops released a statement to alert Iowa Catholics that they needed to step up and help protect the best interests of the Central American children because “Jesus himself was a refugee.”