State’s bishops call for immigration reform that honors human dignity, secures borders

SEATTLE – The state’s bishops have issued a call for “comprehensive immigration reform that honors the dignity of those seeking a better life in the United States, while also addressing the legitimate need for safe and secure borders.”

In a June 27 statement, the bishops say the current stalemate on immigration reform is a “disappointing reality [that] continues to complicate efforts of law enforcement, sow discord in our communities, and harm vulnerable people.”

As Catholics, the bishops said, “we are called to practice Christian charity and to protect and defend the dignity of every human person, especially the poor and most vulnerable based on the moral natural law … We encourage you to join in ongoing efforts to create a just and safe immigration system.”

Read the full statement below:

 

The Immigration Crisis — A Statement from Washington State’s bishops

June 27, 2019

For many years there has been a growing national consensus that the U.S. immigration system is severely flawed and in need of a comprehensive overhaul. However, the continued stalemate on enacting comprehensive immigration reform has created a void filled by stopgap initiatives and a patchwork of state laws. Current mass-deportation efforts, as well as plans to reinforce our physical borders, are neither effective nor sustainable means of addressing this international humanitarian crisis. This disappointing reality continues to complicate efforts of law enforcement, sow discord in our communities, and harm vulnerable people.

The United States has both a right and a duty to protect our borders and our citizens. At the same time, our country has a responsibility to come to the aid of people who are fleeing danger and come here to build a better life for their families.

Worsening conditions that fuel the Latin American refugee crisis, combined with domestic policies that disrespect the dignity of human beings, risk causing even greater suffering for those fleeing peril and threaten the domestic tranquility promised to Americans.

As Catholics, we believe that each person, regardless of legal status, is a sister or brother in Jesus Christ. We are called to practice Christian charity and to protect and defend the dignity of every human person, especially the poor and most vulnerable based on the moral natural law. We must continue to strive for comprehensive immigration reform that honors the dignity of those seeking a better life in the United States, while also addressing the legitimate need for safe and secure borders.

For many decades, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been at the forefront of working for comprehensive immigration reform. United with all U.S. Bishops, the Bishops of Washington State continue to safeguard and maintain the wellbeing of those entrusted to our care. We encourage you to join in ongoing efforts to create a just and safe immigration system. Please visit WACatholics.org/immigration-support to learn what you can do to help or to donate to existing Catholic charitable efforts that support immigrant families at the border.

In Christ,

The Catholic Bishops of Washington State