Two saints who walked with migrants at the beginning of the last century can teach us today how we can accompany today’s new migrants on their journey to a new life. Both St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and St. Giovanni Battista Scalabrini have been called the Mother or Father of migrants — St. Cabrini when she was canonized and St. Scalabrini when he was beatified. Titles can be deceptive, however; when someone is called mother or father it goes well beyond a simple appellation. Rather, it is a term of endearment and respect.
In the age of globalization, when goods and services circulate freely between countries, the concept of labor migration needs to be examined. While we encourage the movement of goods and services, our country has difficulty with the movement of human beings who seek to fill important jobs in our economy.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was created by an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in 2012 to provide temporary protection from deportation and work permits to more than one million childhood arrivals, of which 60% have applied for the program.
Over the past five months, the governors of Texas and Arizona have spearheaded an effort to transport asylum seekers and other migrants, processed by federal immigration officials at the U.S.-Mexico border, to Washington, D.C., and the New York metropolitan area. In effect, the governors are using migrants and refugees as tools to try to punish political leaders and jurisdictions for their more supportive positions on migrants and asylum-seekers.
Pope Francis has stressed the need for all of us to “walk with migrants.” This means not to solve everyone’s problems, but rather to accompany migrants in their journeys in life.
Catholic social teaching regarding migration has developed certain principles that may seem contradictory at first view.
The Catholic Church has been involved with refugee resettlement in an organized way ever since World War II, when millions of displaced people in Europe were resettled in various countries.
The U.S. immigration system should meet the needs of our communities and nation, but it often fails to do so.
Can our broken immigration system be reformed? I believe it can be reformed to meet our nation’s labor, family reunification, and humanitarian goals, and it can be done on the basis of sound information.
Recently, the border situation in Texas has prompted a number of lawsuits against the Diocese of Brownsville and its Catholic Charities.