Why are immigration policies a major concern of the Catholic Church?
In the past, the Catholic Church has held a strong interest in the injustices regarding immigration and how public policy affects the immigrants who are searching for a new beginning in the United States. Today, the Catholic Church still continues to have a strong concern for the marginalized men, women, and families who are affected by the harsh immigration policies that the United States has established. The Church uses Scriptural passages, Catholic social teachings, and also her own experience as an immigrant Church in a new country (United States) as a firm ground to use her voice to speak on behalf of the immigrants whose God-given rights are being violated everyday. Therefore, the marginalized immigrants are not able to reach their full human potential as God had planned for them. The Church thinks that many immigrants are being victimized and their human dignity is degraded on behalf of the current immigration laws and guidelines that we have today. Also, families are being torn apart and families have been kept from seeing each other which does not promote the Church’s intention of marriage. The Catholic Church’s intention of marriage is to have children and raise them as children of Faith to follow the mission of the Church. The Catholic Church feels that she has an obligation to help correct the immigration system to form just laws and policies that serves the common good. She wants to share the message of God to not only allow immigrants to reach their full potential possible, but also serve the common good of our nation by establishing proper security.
Does the Catholic Church defend/encourage illegal immigration?
The Catholic Bishops do not excuse illegal entry or circumvention (a way of avoiding restrictions imposed by a rule or law without actually breaking it) of the immigration laws our nation has established. However, they do believe reforms are absolutely a must in order for an improvement to our immigration systems. They believe that many changes have occurred, especially the reason why immigrants are compelled to immigrate to the United States. As a result, U.S. immigration guidelines and policies need to be updated to reflect these new changes.
"Frequently Asked Questions." Justice for Immigrants. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 22 Aug. 2005. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.