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Wisconsin bishops urge Catholics to work for immigration reform

Catholic World News - December 15, 2011

Catholics should “commit [themselves] to helping resolve this pressing immigration crisis,” the bishops of Wisconsin said in a December 12 pastoral letter.

“Our Catechism addresses directly the duty of wealthy nations like ours to welcome foreigners who are searching for a better life and to respect their natural right to emigrate,” the bishops write. “At the same time, it recognizes the right of governments to regulate immigration for the sake of the common good (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., n. 2241). This duty and this right are not incompatible; it is possible to respect both.”

“The US provides only 5,000 permanent and 66,000 temporary visas annually to low-wage workers wishing to enter this country, a total far below the number of workers needed by key sectors of our economy,” the bishops added. “As a result, immigrants take the risk of working here illegally.”

“Just as we work to protect the innocent unborn, 40 million of whom have already lost their lives, so we cannot turn our backs on the 12 million immigrants in our midst who long to live freely and fully,” they continued. “We do so not just for our nation’s sake, but also for the sake of millions of children and adults who live fearfully in the shadows, who are vulnerable to exploitation, whose family members are being cruelly isolated, detained, and deported.”

“Our Catholic faith can and must transcend political and cultural turmoil. Let us remember that in the end we are all migrants on this earth, traveling together in hope towards our loving God. May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, protect us on our journey.”

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