Our country attracts people seeking a better life. It is a country of immigrants. Yet, throughout history immigrants from all over the world faced hostility and distrust after their arrival to America. The hostility switches course and is usually aimed at the newcomer. Ironically, most people at some point in history were targets of this hostile prejudice. This is a heated topic throughout the United States but especially in California. More than 25 percent of California is composed of immigrants.
Pope Francis on Refugees
“Where is your brother?” the voice of his blood cries even to me, God says. This is not a question addressed to others: it is a question addressed to me, to you, to each one of us. These our brothers and sisters seeking to leave difficult situations in order to find a little serenity and peace, they seek a better place for themselves and for their families – but they found death. How many times to those who seek this not find understanding, do not find welcome, do not find solidarity! And their voices rise up even to God!
Learn More About Immigration
US Bishops' Statement
In this historic statement, the bishops of the United States and Mexico join together to examine the impact of migration on the social, political, and spiritual lives of both countries. Encouraged by the Holy Father's call for a new evangelization and greater unity between Catholics in this hemisphere, the bishops offer detailed guidance for all who minister to migrants-and concrete steps for improving pastoral experiences. The statement also offers policy recommendations to both nations that respect the dignity of the migrant.
"In solidarity, we will continue to advocate on your behalf for just and fair migration policies. We commit ourselves to animate communities of Christ’s disciples on both sides of the border so that yours is a journey of hope, not despair….."
Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey
US Catholic Bishops and Conference of Mexican Bishops, 2003.
By John Huebscher, Executive Director
Wisconsin Catholic Conference
The current debate over immigration policy raises questions that are intertwined with our identity and character as a nation. The story of immigrants is our story. The issues we are engaging in this debate invite us to look in a mirror to recall not only who we are today, but how we got here.
Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento and President of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement with regard to the President’s Executive Action on immigration:
"Comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue in the United States. The Bishops of California welcome the President’s action to offer some humanitarian relief for hard-working families who have lived in the shadows for too long.
Governor Brown and legislative leaders have reached an agreement to provide $3 million for legal assistance to unaccompanied minors in California.
The funding is needed because the U.S. Congress failed to deal with the unprecedented arrival of thousands of children at the U.S. border prior to its summer recess. Federal law requires that unaccompanied minors receive legal assistance during immigration court proceedings to determine their eligibility for political asylum.
FONTANA—The Diocese of San Bernardino took center stage in the closely followed national story of children and families fleeing violence in Central America for the United States when St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fontana welcomed 46 migrants for temporary relief on July 10.
Some parishes in the Diocese of San Bernardino are serving as temporary way stations for women and children fleeing violence and drug cartels in Central America; Catholic Charities in several dioceses are working to provide assistance and services to asylum seekers; and diocesan staffs are arranging pastoral care for the unaccompanied children being housed at retired military bases.
An urgent humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Arizona and Texas, as a sudden and massive influx of unaccompanied children crossing the US Border in the Rio Grande Valley has taken the U.S. Government by surprise.