JUST Gospel: Holy Family Sunday Look at Bishops Immigration Policy Recommendations

Paul Keggington

December 29, 2013

As we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy continues conversation on concepts of globalization and family needs within the question of immigration with the look on policy recommendations.

St. Francis Convent Manitowoc Nativity SceneWe have been thinking and praying about the concepts of Globalization and Family Needs within the question of immigration.  Now we take a further look at policy recommendations being made in the document Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope.

Legalization of the Undocumented

* A broad legalization program of the undocumented would benefit not only the migrants but also both nations. Legalization represents sound public policy and should be featured in any migration agreement between the United States and Mexico. In order to ensure fairness for all nationalities, the U.S. Congress should enact a legalization program for immigrants regardless of their country of origin.

Employment-Based Immigration

* In order to prevent future abuse of workers, any new temporary worker program must afford Mexican and other foreignImmigration Pilgrimage photo by Fred Graber Madison, WI workers wage levels and employment benefits that are sufficient to support a family in dignity; must include worker protections that U.S. workers have; must allow for family unity; must employ labor-market tests to ensure that U.S. workers are protected; and must grant workers the ability to move easily and securely between the United States and their homelands. It must employ strong enforcement mechanisms to protect worker’s rights and give workers the option to become lawful permanent residents after a specific amount of time. Reform in worker programs must be coupled with a broad-based legalization program.

These may be surprising statements to some.  They seem quite liberal in their stance, however the call for justice for all of God’s children requires consideration of these policies.  The Bishops are clearly beginning from a “we-stance” rather than the commonly held “them-us” stance.  Where do we stand?

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