U.S. And Mexican Catholic Bishops Release Joint Pastoral Letter on Immigration

National Migration Week Campaign Calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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National Migration Week will be observed in dioceses around the country January 6-12. This year’s theme, “We are Strangers No Longer: Our Journey of Hope Continues,” includes a postcard campaign that calls for comprehensive immigration reform.

This year’s theme also celebrates the tenth anniversary of the joint pastoral letter, Strangers No Longer: Together on a Journey of Hope, issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano in 2003. In the pastoral letter the bishops reflected on migration between Mexico and the United States as a “sign of the times” that is necessary and beneficial, with promises and challenges.“Catholics have a responsibility to welcome newcomers into our communities and parishes, help them integrate and provide material and spiritual support that will allow them to flourish,” said Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. “National Migration Week is an opportunity for the Church to remember and reflect on these obligations.”

As part of this year’s National Migration Week celebration the USCCB Migration and Refugee Services will launch a postcard campaign that calls on Congress to pass fair and comprehensive immigration reform that would: 

1.  Provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country.
2.  Preserve family unity as a cornerstone of our national immigration system.
3.  Provide legal paths for low-skilled immigrant workers to come and work in the United States. 
4.  Restore due process protections to immigration enforcement policies. 
5.  Address the root causes of migration caused by persecution and economic disparity.

Catholics are also urged to support this campaign. 

“The Administration and Congress should work together to secure legislation that will provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, provide legal means for migrants to enter our nation to work, and reform the system to allow family reunification,” Archbishop Gomez said.  

The observance of National Migration Week began over a quarter century ago by the U.S. bishops to give Catholics an opportunity to take stock of the wide diversity of peoples in the Church and the ministries serving them. 

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On the NET:

For the U.S. and Mexican Catholic Bishop’s Joint Pastoral Letter, go to: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/strangers-no-longer-together-on-the-journey-of-hope.cfm

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