Tag: Catholics and immigration

Conference of Catholic Bishops Asks Obama, Congress to Pass Immigration Reform

Obamas appearance at Notre Dame in May drew criticism from the bishops. (Photo: ND Office of News and Information.)

Obama's appearance at Notre Dame in May drew criticism from the bishops. (Photo: ND Office of News and Information.)

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called Thursday on President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders to pass comprehensive immigration reform, saying that the system “requires repair” and that immigrant “suffering should not continue.”

In San Antonio this week for their annual spring meeting, the bishops said in a statement by their president, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, that immigration is a “humanitarian issue” and U.S. society should not “tolerate a status quo that perpetuates a permanent underclass of persons and benefits from their labor without offering them legal protections.”

The statement is not surprising. Feet in 2 Worlds has reported on several occasions about Catholic bishops’ support –and activism– for immigration reform. George himself appealed publicly to Obama in March to end raids against undocumented immigrants and to push immigration reform forward.

As USA Today’s Faith and Reason blogger Cathy Lynn Grossman pointed out, after the bishops criticized the president on abortion, this is an issue where both sides can work together.


Immigration Reform Advocates Stepping Up Pressure On Obama: Cardinal Asks For End To Raids

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Cardinal George - Photo: AP

Cardinal George - Photo: AP

It was not the first time a Catholic leader has called for changes to the nation’s immigration policies. But Saturday’s appeal by Cardinal Francis George, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was notable in that it was aimed directly at President Barack Obama and his promise of change.

“I stand with other faith leaders and all of you gathered here today and with every immigrant family in this nation to call on our government to end immigration raids and the separation of families,” George said at a Chicago church where a prayer forum was held to call for renewed debate on immigration reform. “Such reform would be a clear sign this administration is truly about change.”

The cardinal’s call came after a week in which, for the first time in office, President Obama spoke at length about immigration before a mainstream audience; and after he told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus he will address immigration reform soon, with some (unspecified) action to come in the next couple of months.


Vatican News Service Criticizes U.S. Immigration Enforcement, Commends U.S. Bishops

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Daquella Manera/Flickr

Fides news service criticized U.S. immigration enforcement in a recent dossier. ("Frontera", by Daquella Manera/Flickr.)

Catholic leaders in the U.S. have been raising their voices in support of reform of the nation’s immigration laws, as Feet In 2 Worlds has reported in recent weeks. Now, a Vatican news service has issued a report that praises American Catholic bishops for their opposition to “the ineffectiveness and violence” of United States’ immigration measures.

“For many years,”  Fides news agency said, “the Catholic Bishops of America have strenuously fought for migrants and against systems of repression, (and have been) actively involved in promoting immigration reforms which encourage legality and respect for human rights.”


In Minnesota and Elsewhere, Catholic Leaders Push For Legalization For Undocumented Immigrants

Virgin of Guadalupe, by Rick/Flickr

Virgin of Guadalupe (Photo: Rick/Flickr)

Catholic leaders around the country continue to take the lead on legalization for undocumented immigrants.

We recently reported on the Bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas, Anthony B. Taylor asking Arkansas Catholics to welcome immigrants rather than reject them. Now, Minnesota’s Catholic leaders have declared Jan. 4 “Immigration Sunday,” and will use the occasion to transmit the same message to the state’s faithful.

“We, the Roman Catholic Bishops of Minnesota, want to share our hope for: newcomers journeying in search of greater opportunities for themselves and their families; communities enriched by the many contributions of newcomers; and advocates working for justice and reform,” the six bishops in the Minnesota Catholic Conference said in a statement released on Dec. 12, the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s patron, and the second anniversary of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid on a meatpacking plant in Worthington, Minn.


"A God of Immigrants" – Arkansas Bishop Calls on Catholics to Welcome the Undocumented

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Bishop Taylor

Bishop Taylor (Photo: Catholic News Agency)

In his previous posting, as a priest in Oklahoma, Bishop Anthony B. Taylor was a fervent opponent of state laws state used to launched a crackdown on illegal immigration. Now, a few months after being named the head of the diocese of Little Rock, Ark., Taylor is again taking the lead on the issue.

In November, Taylor published his first pastoral letter since taking his new job. Titled “I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me: A Pastoral Letter on the Human Rights of Immigrants,” it equates the plight of undocumented immigrants to that of Joseph and Mary when they arrived in Bethlehem and asks Catholics to welcome newcomers rather than reject them. [You can download the letter here.]

“I believe that the major current issue about which American Catholics are most confused today has to do with immigration,” the bishop wrote in an introduction.

“The God of the Bible is a God of immigrants and the history of salvation unfolds largely in the context of immigration,” he added in the letter.