Response from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Care for Migrants and Refugees

September 7, 2017 By Public Affairs Office
WASHINGTON—Thefollowing statement has been issued by James Rogers, Chief CommunicationsOfficer for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), clarifyingthe USCCB position on advocacy and care for migrants and refugees.

Fullstatement follows:

"Itis preposterous to claim that justice for immigrants isn't central to Catholicteaching. It comes directly from Jesus Himself in Matthew 25, 'For I washungry and you gave me food…a stranger and you welcomed me.' Immigrants andrefugees are precisely the strangers we must welcome. This isn't Catholicpartisanship. The Bible is clear: welcoming immigrants is indispensableto our faith.

Caringfor and about the 'Dreamers' is nothing more than trying to carry out thatseemingly simple, but ultimately incredibly demanding, commandment. It isa commandment found throughout Sacred Scripture, reaching back to the Hebrew scriptures,including Leviticus, 'when an alien resides with you in your land, do notmistreat such a one' (Lv. 19:33). In fact, the Church has beenpro-immigration since God called Abram to leave Ur: 'Go forth from your land,your relatives, and from your father's house to a land that I will show you'(Gn. 12:1). To suggest otherwise is absurd.

Thewitness of the Catholic bishops on issues from pro-life to pro-marriage topro-health care to pro-immigration reforms is rooted in the Gospel of JesusChrist rather than the convenient political trends of the day. We are callednot to politics or partisanship, but to love our neighbor. Let's reject theforces of division that insist we make a false choice between our safety andour humanity. It is both possible and morally necessary to secure the border ina manner which provides security and a humane immigration policy.

Ourpro-immigration stance is based on fidelity to God's word and honors theAmerican dream. For anyone to suggest that it is out of sordid motives of statisticsor financial gain is outrageous and insulting."

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MediaContact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200