European Plan for Immigrants Wins Praise

7 Christian Institutions Urge a «Welcoming Society»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

BRUSSELS, Belgium, MAY 28, 2001 ( Seven Christian organizations praised the European Commission´s plans to create legal channels for labor migration.

The Episcopal Commission of the European Union reported that a detailed response to the European Union´s plans to harmonize policies on asylum and immigration was published today by Catholic institutions and other Christian confessions.

The groups underlined the importance of making Europe a «welcoming society» with a humane immigration policy. They also said the European Union must deal with the question of undocumented immigrants in its midst.

«A person who exercises his or her right to search for better living conditions should not be considered as a criminal simply for doing so,» the groups said. They called on EU states to help such immigrants, who are often exploited and deprived of basic human rights.

After emphasizing immigrants´ right to asylum, the church organizations warned that measures taken to prevent irregular migration — such as fines for airlines that carry undocumented passengers — create a risk that people will be sent back into dangerous situations.

No one should risk being punished for helping someone to escape to safety, the groups said.

«The principle of refugee protection is nonnegotiable,» they emphasized. «Quite simply, no one may ever be sent back into a situation where he or she will be persecuted.»

The statement was signed by Caritas-Europe, the Churches´ Commission for Migrants in Europe, the Commission of the Bishops´ Conferences of the European Community, the International Catholic Migration Commission, Justice and Peace (Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions), Jesuit Refugee Service-Europe, and the Quaker Council for European Affairs.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation