Immigration and the Catholic Church

Immigration and the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church in the United States has been closely involved on issues related to immigration for over two hundred years. This video highlights the efforts that the Church has undertaken in the past and continues to do so in the present...

Creating a world where immigrants, migrants, refugees and people on the move are treated with dignity, respect, welcome and belonging.

– Migration and Refugee Services Vision Statement

Who We Are

Migration and Refugee Services is charged with assisting the bishops in the development and promotion of migration policy positions within the context of the Church's social teaching. To this end MRS works with grassroots Catholic networks across the US to promote fair immigration and refugee policies, advocates for the passage of immigration reform, engages in the fight against human trafficking develops initiatives aimed at educating Catholics on the Church's teaching on migration, and assists the U.S. Catholic bishops in carrying the voice of the Church to Congress and the Administration.

What We Do

Relying on a well-developed, theoretical and moral framework to inform their policy perspective, MRS pursues advocacy efforts through a number of different concrete avenues. These include:

  • The development and distribution of policy position papers that highlight areas of importance to the bishops that are deserving of further attention;
  • The planning and carrying out of fact finding trips to regions of the world that are experiencing political and social upheaval and which are under threat of undergoing a refugee or other migration related crisis. In recent years the bishops have taken trips to the Middle East, East Africa, Central America and Haiti, and have published reports that provide policy proposals to address problems that they found;
  • Public statements, on a range of issues related to migration and the provision of congressional testimony urging Congress to pass humane timely legislation that will provide needed protections to migrant populations;
  • Implementation of a wide range of national educational initiatives, including National Migration Week, that seek to change hearts and minds and challenges Catholics and other people of good faith to embrace the Church's vision on migration;
  • Involvement in a wide range of coalitions that work to realize protection-focused legislation that provides dignity for the most vulnerable among us: migrant children and women, undocumented immigrants, and victims of human trafficking.

Among the coalitions that MRS/USCCB is closely involved is the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking, which consists of national and international Catholic agencies working to eliminate the scourge of human trafficking, and the Justice for Immigrants campaign, which is designed to unite and mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions, individuals, and other persons of good will in support of a broad legalization program and comprehensive immigration reform.

How You Can Help

Learn more about the populations served bMigration and Refugee Services:

Explore documents and resources which inform the Church's policy work on migration

Take action in solidarity with immigrants, migrants, refugees and people on the move