People of faith across the United States are joining the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration in highlighting the human suffering caused by our broken immigration system.
A delegation of bishops has traveled to Nogales, Arizona to tour the U.S.-Mexico border (including the Jesuit-run Kino Border Initiative) and celebrate Mass on behalf of the close to 6,000 migrants who have died in the U.S. desert since 1998. Catholic institutions throughout the U.S. will be hosting coordinated masses, prayer services, public vigils, advocacy phone calling and letter writing sessions to coincide with the bishops’ presence on the border on April 1st.
The trip follows the example of Pope Francis, who, in his first trip outside of Rome, traveled to the Italian island of Lampedusa to remember African migrants who died attempting to reach Europe. During that trip, Pope Francis spoke about the “globalization of indifference” toward migrants and decried the “throwaway culture” that disposes of human beings in the pursuit of wealth.
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LIVESTREAM of Mass on the Border:
Immigration Posts & News from ISN:
Catholic Teaching on Immigration:
1. PERSONS HAVE THE RIGHT TO FIND OPPORTUNITIES IN THEIR HOMELAND.
All persons have the right to find in their own countries the economic, political, and social opportunities to live in dignity and achieve a full life through the use of their God-given gifts. In this context, work that provides a just, living wage is a basic human need.
2. PERSONS HAVE THE RIGHT TO MIGRATE TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.
The Church recognizes that all the goods of the earth belong to all people. When persons cannot find employment in their country of origin to support themselves and their families, they have a right to find work elsewhere in order to survive. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right.
3. SOVEREIGN NATIONS HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTROL THEIR BORDERS.
The Church recognizes the right of sovereign nations to control their territories but rejects such control when it is exerted merely for the purpose of acquiring additional wealth. More powerful economic nations, which have the ability to protect and feed their residents, have a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows.
4. REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS SHOULD BE AFFORDED PROTECTION.
Those who flee wars and persecution should be protected by the global community. This requires, at a minimum, that migrants have a right to claim refugee status without incarceration and to have their claims fully considered by a competent authority.
5. THE HUMAN DIGNITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS OF UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS SHOULD BE RESPECTED.
Regardless of their legal status, migrants, like all persons, possess inherent human dignity that should be respected. Often they are subject to punitive laws and harsh treatment from enforcement officers from both receiving and transit countries. Government policies that respect the basic human rights of the undocumented are necessary.
SOURCE: USSCB Justice for Immigrants Campaign