Catholic Teaching

Immigration and Refugees

The Church’s position on migration is rooted the Gospel and in the rich tradition of Catholic social teaching. A recent example of this teaching is in Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, a joint pastoral letter concerning migration from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States. The pastoral letter promotes five principles that should be used to help formulate migration-related policy:

(The first 4 principles were included in the January 14th and 21st bulletins)

5) The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected.
Regardless of their legal status, migrants, like all persons, possess inherent human dignity that should be respected. Often they are subject to punitive laws and harsh treatment by enforcement officers from both receiving and transit countries. The church recognizes the right of every sovereign state to control its borders in order to promote the common good. It also recognizes the right of every human being to migrate in order to enjoy his or her God-given rights. These teachings complement each other. Government policies that respect the basic human rights of the undocumented are necessary.