Catholic Teaching

The Justice for immigrants Campaign is grounded in the social teachings of the Church. The excerpts that follow enumerate the most relevant of Catholic Social Teachings on the issue of migration. Thus, these teachings not only guide the policy recommendations of Justice for Immigrants, they also inspire believers to love your neighbor as yourself.

These excerpts are from Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hopea joint statement from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States.

  • All persons have the right to find in their own countries the economic, political, and social opportunities to live in dignity and achieve a full life through the use of their God-given gifts. In this context, work that provides a just, living wage is a basic human need. (Page 15, Paragraph 34)
  • The Church recognizes the right of sovereign nations to control their territories but rejects such control when it is exerted merely for the purpose of acquiring additional wealth. More powerful economic nations, which have the ability to protect and feed their residents, have a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows. (Page 15, Paragraph 36)
  • The Church recognizes that all goods of the earth belong to all people. When persons cannot find employment in their country of origin to support themselves and their families, they have a right to find work elsewhere in order to survive. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right. (Page 15, Paragraph 35)
  • Those who flee wars and persecution should be protected by the global community. This requires, at a minimum, that migrants have a right to claim refugee status without incarceration and to have their claims fully considered by a competent authority. (Page 16, Paragraph 37)
  • Regardless of their legal status, migrants, like all persons, possess inherent human dignity which should be respected. Government policies that respect the basic human rights of the undocumented are necessary. (Page 16, Paragraph 38)

For a complete version of the “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope”, a joint statement from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States