Immigration and Refugees
"I was a stranger, and you welcomed me..."
The Catholic Church takes seriously the call to welcome the stranger, particularly when it comes to concern for the migrant and the refugee. There is much in Catholic teaching that reminds us that we are called to treat the stranger just as we would treat Christ. Catholic Social Teaching reaffirms this, particularly with respect to our concern for the life and dignity of the human person, the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, the importance of family life, and our common solidarity with all of humankind.
The Most Reverend Martin Amos, DD, bishop of the Diocese of Davenport and Chair of the St. Ambrose University Board of Trustees, has issued a statement of concern over the president's recent executive action concerning refugees. The Diocese of Davenport has also provided a document listing the Catholic Principles of Migration.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has also issued statements concerning the order. Statements have been made from Bishop Vásquez, chairman of the Committee on Migration, as well as from the president and vice president of the USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Archbishop José Gomez. You can also learn about what Catholic Social Teaching has to say about immigration, and view the joint document from the U.S. and Mexican Bishops issued in 2003, "Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope," which offers advice on how to improve the U.S. immigration system and reaffirms the Church's strong commitment to the safeguarding of immigrants and refugees.
Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope (United States and Mexican Bishops, 2003)
To learn more about what you can do to help, be sure to visit the USCCB's website under the Migration and Refugee Services to learn more about what they do and ways you can support their work. You can also write to your government officials. The Diocese of Davenport has provided a sample letter to be sent to the president which you can use to express your solidarity with refugees and your objection to the executive order. We also encourage you to support Catholic Relief Services, which works to serve those most in need, including refugees from around the world.