For many of us, our grandparents and forefathers left their homes in Ireland, Italy, Germany and Poland searching for a better life. They were not deterred by the complicated and broken immigration process that exists today. Many did not come with documents. They came out of need and hope for a better future.
America is unique. We are a land of immigrants & our Church has always been a leading advocate for those who are new to our shores. As Catholics, we are called to help lift up all people; as Americans, we seek to make America stronger & healthier for future generations.
Our faith calls us to embrace all, even the ‘stranger,’ because Christ dwells in us all. “To welcome him and to show him solidarity is a duty of hospitality and fidelity to Christian identity itself,” said Blessed John Paul II in Undocumented Immigrants. Our starting point in deciding how society should treat an individual is not their legal status, but rather their human dignity.
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Across partisan divides and with the consistency of millennia, popes and presidents speak out for the immigrant.
"We pray for a heart which will embrace immigrants. God will judge us upon how we have treated the most needy."
Pope Francis on Lampedusa, July 9, 2013
"In the Church no one is a stranger, and the Church is not foreign to anyone, anywhere."
Pope John Paul II - Undocumented Migrants, 1996
"In an increasingly globalized society, the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family, that is to say, the community of peoples and nations, in such a way as to shape the earthly city in unity and peace, rendering it to some degree an anticipation and a prefiguration of the undivided city of God."
Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Caritas in veritate, 2009
"At its core, immigration is a sign of a confident and successful nation. It says something about our country that people all around the world are willing to leave their homes and leave their families and risk everything to come to our country. Their talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped us become the leader of the world."
President George W. Bush - July 10, 2013
" Here in America, we’ve always been a nation of immigrants. That’s what’s kept our workforce dynamic, our businesses on the cutting edge, and our economy the strongest in the world. But under the current system, too many smart, hardworking immigrants are prevented from contributing to that success."
President Barack Obama - July 13, 2013