Jesuits Stand with Immigrants: the Jesuit Letter in Support of Immigration Reform
Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam
Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress:
We, the undersigned, support the call by the Catholic Bishops and the Provincials of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in the United States for comprehensive immigration reform. In our schools, at our parishes, and through our social ministries, we have experienced the failures of our current system with tragic consequences for individuals, families and communities. This is not the America we desire. We can and must do better.
As a community of faith, we stand with our Bishops and the Jesuit Provincials calling for these essential principles:
• A path to legalization that ensures that undocumented immigrants have access to full rights. It is time to allow undocumented workers to leave the shadows and enjoy the daylight they have earned, through their contributions to our economy, by normalizing their immigration status.
• A legal employment structure for future workers that protects both migrants and United States workers. We need to create legal pathways that respond to labor-market realities in the United States to ensure that there is a safe and economically sustainable migration flow to satisfy the needs of the U.S. economy for both skilled and unskilled workers.
• Expedited family reunification and emphasis on family unity for all immigrants. Keeping families intact is essential to human fulfillment and social stability. The current visa backlogs must be addressed and sufficient visas should be made available across the socio-economic spectrum to ensure an orderly and timely reunification of family members.
• The need for due process and humane enforcement of our immigration laws. Those migrating in search of work to sustain themselves and their families have a right to be treated justly and humanely. We seek uniform national standards for all detention facilities, the timely and fair adjudication of cases, and enforcement efforts that respect human dignity and aim to keep families and communities intact. Those in detention should be kept in reasonable proximity to family members and attorneys.
• Development assistance and fair competition with developing countries. To reduce the number of persons forced to migrate due to a lack of economic opportunities in their home countries, we must adopt international development and trade policies that will foster sustainable economic development in the countries from which migrant flows are the greatest.
These principles provide the framework for a comprehensive immigration reform that is fair, just and humane. The time has come to reform our immigration laws so that our nation will once again shine as a beacon of hope, tolerance, and welcome to our world.
(Signed by more than 200 Jesuit communities, schools, volunteer groups, and outreach organizations. The full list is at http://www.jesuit.org/index.php/home/jesuits-men-for-others/immigration/immigration-sign-on-letter/)