Article 5 in the series
Last week, we looked at what Catholic Social Teaching says about immigration, and this week we’ll look at a few statements from our US bishops on the issue. Please keep all immigrants and refugees in your prayers and contact Andrew Musgrave (firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-271-6577) with any questions.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, in 2003, published a document – Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope – that guides the US Catholic Church’s response to policies affecting immigration; the principles mirror the teaching of the global Catholic Church. In addition, the document lists specific tenets that they argue must be included in every immigration policy:
- Global anti-poverty efforts: trade and economic considerations (among others) must be included, thereby addressing the forces that compel migrants to leave their homes.
- Broad-based legalization: all undocumented persons of any nationality should be given the opportunity to earn permanent residency and eventually citizenship.
- Temporary worker program: guarantees that wage levels and benefits are consistent, protects basic rights allowing for job flexibility and portability, permits people to bring spouses and children to join them, calls for a good-faith effort by companies to hire U.S. workers and incorporates enforcement of worker protections and more.
- Expanded opportunities to reunify families: families are the core of our society and culture and thus reunification must be the cornerstone of any US immigration policy.
- Restoration of Due Process: migrants must be treated fairly and justly, and it must be guaranteed that the persecuted are not forced back into the arms of their persecutors.
- Targeted, Proportional and Humane Enforcement: focus on those with criminal intent, do not impose unnecessary penalties, do not funnel migrants into the desert and respect the dignity of all.