Service to Immigrants

Religious Freedom Week 2024: June 25

Pray that the Lord would protect all migrants and refugees, and that all those who work with people on the move would be free to serve. 

As part of their duty to uphold the common good, civil authorities are responsible for ensuring public order, including by maintaining national borders.  At the same time, the Church is commanded by Jesus Christ to serve vulnerable populations, including migrants and refugees, and recognize their God-given dignity.  The Church has long sought to serve the needs of “people on the move,” from providing for basic needs, to assisting with refugee resettlement, to offering legal services to help newcomers navigate the expectations of their receiving country.  Sadly, in recent years, Christian services to migrants have faced vile attacks by both media personalities and political leaders seeking to make a point about current immigration trends.  Debates about immigration and borders are simply part of American political life, and Christians should do their part to make those discussions healthy and productive.  The attacks on Catholic charitable services, which have led to threats of violence against the faithful and those they serve, have nothing to do with healthy debate.  A nation that respects its religious institutions will recognize the Church’s right to carry out her mission to vulnerable people, including migrants and refugees. 

Catholic social teaching recognizes a country’s right and responsibility to manage its borders in accordance with the common good, and the U.S. bishops have been vocal proponents of immigration reform for many years. However, bills recently put forth in Congress, such as the USCCB-opposed Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2), which targets organizations serving newcomers, underscore both the partisan nature of the immigration debate and the potential for religious groups to be scapegoated for the consequences of public officials failing to achieve just, bipartisan solutions on immigration.  Some lawmakers are demanding that H.R. 2 be enacted as a condition for passing bills that fund the federal government.  Take action today to encourage Congress to work toward bipartisan immigration reform that furthers the common good, upholds religious freedom, and respects the God-given dignity of all. 

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