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A Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Minnesota on the Need for Federal Immigration Reform
Nos, los obispos católicos de Minnesota, are deeply concerned about the nation’s immigration policy. Es inconsistente, Ineficaz, y no promueve el bien común.
The lack of an effective, coherent national policy has led to the introduction of many bills in state legislatures around the country, including in Minnesota, that seek to address the complex issue of immigration.
Such bills are a response to the failure of the current federal immigration laws and regulations to halt illegal immigration and the resulting economic, social, and fiscal impact this has had on many state and local governments.
Enforcement-focused state legislation, sin embargo, often divides immigrant families and criminalizes the efforts of those who work with immigrants. State legislation cannot repair a failed national policy.
Por lo tanto, we seek to reiterate our support for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, as well as propose the relevant principles that should guide those reforms.
We recognize that finding solutions to the plight of immigrants today will sometimes necessitate the overcoming of boundaries in the heart, not just on the land. People erect walls for protection when they feel threatened.
At some point, sin embargo, we must reach out to human persons in need, and the demands of our common human nature compel us to open a gate in the wall, so that what human dignity demands is not denied to a sister or brother. But before a gate finds its way into the walls outside, there must be a gate that opens in the heart.
This is what the Good Samaritan did: without denying the differences that kept Jews and Samaritans apart, he gave the assistance that was demanded of him by the universal law of love—the law of our common humanity—by supplying the basic human needs of a poor stranger.
Like the Samaritan, we must see all people, including immigrants and undocumented workers who may be different from us, as children made in the image and likeness of God, and fashion our response to their needs accordingly.
Pursuing Life, Liberty, and Happiness While Recognizing Obligations
The Church’s perspective on immigration is rooted in her teaching that every human person is created in God’s image and has God-given dignity, Derechos, and duties.
America’s founders properly understood that human rights to life, libertad, and the pursuit of happiness are universal and inalienable. Governments merely recognize and respect these rights; they do not create them.
The human right to life—the foundation of every other right—implies the right to emigrate. A dignified existence that preserves life requires food, refugio, ropa, and economic opportunity. Political instability, economic distress, religious persecution, or other conditions that offend basic human dignity may require one to seek these basic necessities in another country.
The right to emigrate, sin embargo, is not absolute. Immigrants are obliged to respect and abide by the laws and traditions of the countries in which they come to reside, and must work toward building solidarity with citizens of their new country of residence.
Catholic teaching also recognizes the sovereignty of nations to secure their borders and make decisions about the identity and number of immigrants they allow into their countries. Our government has the duty to consider immigration’s impact on the domestic economy and our national security. Sin embargo, 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.
It is often true that undocumented workers may break immigration laws to come to the United States. We wish to emphasize that a concern for upholding the law supports the common good. But it is also true that laws that undermine human dignity, separate families, and which prevent the exercise of basic human rights are unjust laws in need of reform. Good laws should not and need not exclude the possibility of mercy.
The United States is a nation of immigrants and our unique historical experience shows the important contributions—social, cultural, and economic—that immigrants have made and continue to make to American society. Although immigrants have not always been received with hospitality, Minnesotans, like all Americans, have a responsibility to comfort and welcome the stranger in their midst.
Principled Immigration Policy
We believe, with our brother bishops around the country, that policy proposals in this complex area should be assessed by five key principles:
- Las personas tienen el derecho a buscar oportunidades económicas en su patria; condiciones deben ser tal que las personas puedan trabajar y mantener a sus familias con dignidad y seguridad;
- Las personas tienen derecho a emigrar para mantenerse ellas mismas y sus familias cuando son incapaces de encontrar trabajo y por lo tanto son incapaces de mantener a sus familias en casa;
- Las naciones soberanas tienen el derecho a proteger y controlar sus fronteras para el común bien;
- Los refugiados y solicitantes de asilo deben gozar de protección; y
- Los derechos humanos y la dignidad humana de todas las personas, incluyendo a los inmigrantes indocumentados, debe ser respetada.
Además, cualquier política de inmigración sólo debe también:
- Respetar la dignidad humana de todas las personas y trabajar contra cualquier injusticia que compromete la dignidad de los inmigrantes;
- Promover y dar prioridad a la reunificación de las familias; y
- Reconocer la rica contribución a la comunidad por los inmigrantes y los inmigrantes que trabajan y viven aquí.
These Catholic moral principles are consistent with America’s founding ideals and aspirations to be one nation under God, a people made up of many races and creeds.
Based on these principles the American bishops support comprehensive immigration policy reform that secures our national borders and provides undocumented immigrants the opportunity to earn permanent residency and eventual citizenship.
Dicha reforma debe incluir:
- an earned legalization program for foreign nationals of good moral character;
- policies designed to keep families together;
- a revamped temporary worker program that protects both the workers who come to the United States and U.S.-citizen workers;
- the restoration of immigrants’ due process rights; y
- an effort to meaningfully address the root cause of migration, como el subdesarrollo y la pobreza en los países de origen inmigrante en.
Por otra parte, dicha reforma incluiría el objetivo, proporcional, y aplicación de leyes de inmigración.
Legislation at the state level cannot achieve necessary reform of national policy. Such legislation also could result in conflicting laws among the states that could lead to the abuse of human rights, disruptions of families in ways that adversely affect children, and send a message of hostility when Jesus calls us to welcome the stranger, and to love others as He has loved us.
The more fruitful approach would be for public officials in our state, and all of us as citizens, to petition Congress and the President to courageously enact comprehensive immigration reform.
We encourage members of the Minnesota Legislature to reject any measures that are in opposition to the fundamental human dignity of immigrants—especially the undocumented; and we encourage the Minnesota congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. to work for just and compassionate reform of the nation’s immigration system.
Finalmente, we ask that people join us in prayer to God for a just, yet merciful solution to the plight of immigrants in our country.
Más Rev. John C. Nienstedt
Arzobispo de Santo Paul y de Minneapolis
Más Rev. John F. Kinney
Obispo de St. Nube
Más Rev. John M. LeVoir
Obispo de Ulm nuevo
Más Rev. John M. Quinn
Obispo de Winona
Más Rev. Paul D. Sirba
Obispo de Duluth
Más Rev. Michael J. Hoeppner
Obispo de Crookston
Más Rev. Lee A. Piché
Obispo auxiliar de San. Paul y Minneapolis
Más Rev. Harry J. Flynn
Archbishop Emeritus of St. Paul y Minneapolis
La mayor parte. Rev. Victor H. Balke
Bishop Emeritus of Crookston
Más Rev. Bernard J. Harrington
Bishop Emeritus of Winona