Catholic Teaching on Immigration

The U.S. Catholic bishops have for many years advocated comprehensive reform of the nation’s immigration laws. In 2002 the bishops issued a joint statement with the bishops of Mexico, which said: “The Church recognizes the right of a sovereign state to control its borders in furtherance of the common good. It also recognizes the right of human persons to migrate so they can realize their God-given rights.” The bishops have supported measures that would give people a path to earn citizenship, such as the payment of back taxes, etc. The bishops have also supported enactment of a Dream Act to ensure children who have grown up in the United States can seek citizenship and fully participate in American life.  Pope Benedict has pleaded for humane immigration policies, stating: “Migration and the problems to which it gives rise must be addressed humanely, with justice and compassion.”

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