Tuesday, January 10, 2006

National Migration Week

Well, it is National Migration Week, and what are Catholics going to do about it? This is a Culture of Life issue, after all.

My own Archbishop -- no raving pinko on doctrinal issues, in case you needed reminding -- has issued an emphatic statement highlighting the church's affirmative stance on immigration and the necessity to care for those newly-arrived among us.

Cardinal Justin Rigali's message for Migration Week registers opposition to H.R. 4437 which, according to the summary prepared by the archdiocese of Philadelphia, "makes all undocumented immigrants criminals; removes due process protection to asylum seekers and refugees, including children; and mandates the detention of families and other vulnerable groups along our border. It also subjects humanitarian workers, including Church workers, to five years in prison simply for providing basic needs assistance, such as food and water, to an undocumented immigrant."

Pretty draconian stuff..... Some snips from the Boss:
This week the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, along with the Catholic Church throughout the United States, celebrates "National Migration Week," which recognizes the contributions of immigrants and refugees to the Church and our nation. Here in Philadelphia, newcomers have helped revitalize our city by bringing energy and industry to our city neighborhoods. Nationally, immigrants, refugees, and other new arrivals have, over the past 100 years, infused new ideas, skills and culture into our country, making it the great nation it is today.

Congress, with the support of President Bush, should seek to repair our broken immigration system by enacting comprehensive immigration legislation that reforms all aspects of our nation's immigration system, not simply law enforcement. Such legislation should propose an earned legalization program for the 11 million undocumented persons in the country. Earned legalization is not amnesty because the proposal requires immigrants to work for up to six years before applying for legal permanent residency. The bill should include a temporary worker program, which would provide legal channels for migrant workers to migrate in a safe, legal and orderly manner; and reductions in family visa backlogs, which causes family separation for up to 10 years or more. This approach offers stronger security measures because it provides an incentive for undocumented immigrants and their families to "come out of the shadows" and identify themselves to government authorities....

Our nation stands at a critical juncture in its history. Before venturing down the path of exclusion and intolerance, we must remember that all of us, except for American Indians, are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Together, we can create an immigration system that reflects our national values, promotes our national security and is worthy of our great nation, a nation of immigrants.
And if that isn't enough for you, a reminder that the archbishop of Denver has also written pointedly about immigration in recent weeks....