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Michigan bishops: Don’t blame immigrants for failed public policy

Catholic World News - August 04, 2011

The bishops of Michigan have issued a brief statement on immigration.

“We support the positive impact migrant communities have made in our country, and especially in our state,” the bishops state. “We recognize the right of our country to regulate its own borders to control immigration. We believe that borders must be regulated with justice and mercy as people have a God-given right to migrate when necessary to sustain their lives and their families.”

“We empathize with those children born in the United States who later see their parents deported while the children are still minors,” the bishops continue. “We realize that an ineffective immigration system has in some places and at some times led to negative ramifications, such as increased crime and a proliferation of the drug trade.”

The Michigan bishops add:

The federal government has the responsibility to enact and enforce laws that treat migrant peoples with the same dignity as its native-born citizens. As such, there must be a concerted effort to find a pathway toward citizenship for undocumented persons who live here, who work here, have raised a family here and have contributed to the common good …

We encourage members of the Michigan Legislature to reject measures that impugn immigrants—especially the undocumented; and we encourage the Michigan congressional delegation in Washington, DC to contribute to federal efforts that seek to fix the nation’s immigration system.

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  • Posted by: stpetric - Aug. 04, 2011 11:16 PM ET USA

    I want very much to be of one mind with the bishops, but I don't understand exactly what it means to "treat migrant peoples with the same dignity as its native-born citizens", as this seems to conflate two dichotomous categories: native-born/[im]migrant and citizen/alien. Nor do I understand why equal dignity implies that "there must be a concerted effort to find a pathway toward citizenship for undocumented persons." The bishops' fuzzy thinking doesn't help matters.

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