Franciscan

A Catholic perspective on immigration

BY FR. JEFF SCHEELER, OFM

The recent Executive Order from President Trump temporarily restricting some immigrants and refugees from entering the U.S. has been a source of concern for many, including politicians and religious leaders, including some of our bishops. These times provide us with an opportunity to review Catholic Principles on Migration. A fuller explanation can be found at: http://justiceforimmigrants.org/what-we-are-working-on/immigration/catholic-principles-of-migration/

  1. Persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland.
  2. Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families.
  3. Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders.
  4. Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection.
  5. The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected.

This particular teaching is rooted in the broader Catholic Social Teaching. A fuller explanation can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/seven-themes-of-catholic-social-teaching.cfm

The main themes are:
1. Life and Dignity of the Human Person
2. Call to Family, Community, and Participation
3. Rights and Responsibilities
4. Option for the Poor and the Vulnerable
5. The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
6. Solidarity
7. Care for God’s Creation

These teachings are a rich treasure of wisdom and can help us think through and respond to the complexities of the current times as we strive to build a just and compassionate society.

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