“In Catholic thinking, the right to immigration is a ‘natural right.’ That means it is universal and inalienable. But it is not absolute. Immigrants are obliged to respect and abide by the laws and traditions of the countries they come to reside in.
Catholic teaching also recognizes the sovereignty of nations to secure their borders and make decisions about who and how many foreigners they allow into their countries.
Our government has the duty to consider immigration’s impact on the domestic economy and our national security.
However, we must always make sure that we are not exaggerating these concerns in ways that deny the basic humanitarian needs of good people seeking refuge in our country.
These Catholic principles are consistent with America’s founding ideals. They are also consistent with America’s proud legacy as one nation under God made up from many peoples of all races and creeds.
Based on these principles the American bishops support comprehensive immigration policy reform that protects the integrity of our national borders and provides undocumented immigrants the opportunity to earn permanent residency and eventual citizenship.
So the political issue is basically this: How can we find a way to accept these newcomers and balance that with the need for our nation to protect our borders, to control the flow of immigrants, and to keep track of who is living within our borders?
But the important thing for us is to approach these political issues — not as Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives — but as Catholics.
And as Catholics, we should be alarmed by the human toll of our failure to fix our broken immigration system.”
– Archbishop Jose Gomez, 3 August 2011, addressing the Knights of Columbus