"In Catholic thinking, the right to immigration is a 'natural right'…"

“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

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Comments

  1. greta says:

    “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.”

    This is essential to any country being able to maintain its values, its security, and its economy over time. I have a hard time when the Bishops seem to forget the quoted part of this and seem to be supporting open borders. I also do not think that the Catholic Church should be in favor of big government programs that strip money from on to give to another, expecially those who have flagrantly broken our laws. Anchoress posted this letter to the president which lays out some important issues regarding redistribution of wealth around the economy which should be blocked from being involved in any discussion on changes in immigration as well.. http://www.case4america.org/cases-letter-to-the-president/

  2. 100000151309090 says:

    One of the few articles in the CCC which I find myself quoting often is CCC 2241:
    The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

    Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

    Clearly, in Church doctrine, it is not the inalienable right of any person to enter a country in violation of law. Render unto Caesar…

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