We're a little late to report on this, but in July, the Roman Catholic Bishops in Michigan released a statement taking a stance on immigration. The document references the problematic lack of effective federal immigration policy and stresses the need to stop blaming individuals for a "failed policy."
While these national immigration problems must be resolved, it is unfair and mistaken to blame the undocumented for problems more accurately attributed to a failed policy. 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.
The Bishops make several suggestions to improve immigration legislation.
Should our state policy-makers debate immigration legislation we, as moral leaders and teachers of faith, believe any proposed measure must strive to:
- Uphold the human dignity of all persons and work against any injustice which would compromise the dignity of immigrants.
- Promote and give priority to the reunification of families.
- Recognize the rich contribution to the community by those immigrants and migrants who work and live here.
We're glad to see the Bishops taking such a strong stance on immigration, recognizing both the issues in policy, but also the treatment of undocumented immigrants. "We support the positive impact migrant communities have made in our country, and especially in our state."