Article 8 in the series
Last week, we continued our look at how our bishops have addressed some of the tough questions surrounding immigration, and we’ll finish that this week. Please keep all immigrants and refugees in your prayers and contact Andrew Musgrave at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-271-6577 with any questions.
There are several tough questions surrounding the issue of immigration, several of which have been raised in previous articles. To conclude the series, we’ll look at how Bishop John Wester and the US Bishops Migration Committee respond to these questions.
– Shouldn’t we focus on addressing the problems in the countries from which immigrants are traveling? That absolutely should be a priority. The US Bishops have pushed Congress to help countries improve issues such as a lack of living wage jobs that compel people to flee. They believe that the most humane and effective way of stemming irregular immigration is to focus on economic development in these poor countries, which allows families to stay in their home countries with dignity. This is why the Church opposes building a border wall: this is not a long-term solution to irregular migration (but sustainable growth is!). Ultimately, immigration should be a choice, not a necessity.
– What exactly do the bishops want? The US bishops’ prescription for mending our broken system is to bring the 11 million undocumented out of the shadows, register them with the government, require them to pay a fine and any taxes owed, and require them to learn English and work as they wait in the back of the line for a chance for citizenship. They also support an increase in family- and employment-based visas so that immigrant families could migrate to the United States in a safe, legal and controlled manner, and not be subject to the abuse of human smugglers or to death in the desert. These changes will help ease pressure on our border by taking undocumented immigrants out of the enforcement equation, freeing up law enforcement to focus upon those who are here to harm us, not those simply looking for a job.