The United States – Canada Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart stands with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in their hope that members of the caravan of migrants from Central America, currently journeying on foot toward the southern border of the United States to seek asylum, will be received in a way that respects international law and human dignity.
The Catholic Catechism instructs the faithful that good government has the duty to welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the human person. Persons have the right to immigrate, and thus government must accommodate this right to the greatest extent possible, especially financially blessed nations: “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.” Catholic Catechism, 2241.
Our country has the lowest unemployment rate in recent history and many farms and businesses are having difficulty finding workers who are willing to do the specialized, difficult and low-paid work these industries require. Statistics show that immigrants and refugees from Central America, on the whole, are hardworking, family oriented and less likely to commit crimes than native born citizens and that immigrants often create new businesses that strengthen the local economy and revitalize the neighborhoods where they settle.
We encourage this administration to invest in more well-trained immigration officers who can carefully vet those presenting themselves to Border Patrol agents, rather than meeting them with armed military personnel.