Immigration Reform

Bringing about a more humane and just immigration system in the United States.

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CathoRefugeestatement_art_croplic Social Teaching: It is essential to draw near to new forms of poverty and vulnerability, in which we are called to recognize the suffering Christ, even if this appears to bring us no tangible and immediate benefits. I think of the homeless, the addicted, refugees, indigenous peoples, the elderly who are increasingly isolated and abandoned, and many others. Migrants present a particular challenge for me, since I am the pastor of a Church without frontiers, a Church which considers herself mother to all.

For this reason, I exhort all countries to a generous openness which, rather than fearing the loss of local identity, will prove capable of creating new forms of cultural synthesis. How beautiful are those cities which overcome paralyzing mistrust, integrate those who are different and make this very integration a new factor of development! How attractive are those cities which, even in their architectural design, are full of spaces which connect, relate and favor the recognition of others! (Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel, #210)

In a landmark pastoral letter issued by the Catholic bishops of Mexico and the United States, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, the bishops acknowledge that the current immigration system is badly in need of reform and that a comprehensive approach to fixing it is required. The bishops offer a comprehensive set of recommendations for changing U.S. laws and policies to reflect the principles contained in Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching and to bring about a more humane and just immigration system in the United States.

The US Catholic Bishops call for commonsense immigration reform that:

  • Ensures family unity
  • Enhances the present diversity visa program
  • Protects the rights of immigrant workers
  • Acknowledges that our borders are already basically secure, with only minor changes needed
  • Speeds up processing of already-approved immigrants
  • Provides a clear and direct pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people who are undocumented in the U.S.

Sylvania Franciscans work for Migrants and Immigration Reform by:

  • Writing to Congress
  • Supporting local boycotts
  • Standing up for the migrants in our area
  • Praying for our government leaders that they make wise decisions regarding the immigrant population to preserve the rights of immigrant workers and to ensure family unity

Sisters' Stories

Sister Joan Jurski

Sister Joan Jurski

To be a woman of peace and seeker of justice has been part of my life as a Franciscan. It is the Gospel call that is lived through the spirit of St. Francis. This has directed my life throughout my years of ministry, especially most actively as a diocesan Director of Peace and Justice. Perhaps the most challenging times to act on these values has been in educating people to the Church’s Social Teaching regarding immigration. For many people, Catholics as well, the idea of migrants and immigration raised fears and a variety of arguments to keep them out of this country. Creating parish social ministry committees helped in the dialog and education about our basic social teaching to revere and respect all persons. It was not enough to collect clothes or food for Migrants, social action for change was needed. In collaboration with other ecumenical bodies we continued to work for immigration reform which respects the dignity of all people. And the work goes on.
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