Blog Post

Just Immigration Policies Keep Families Together

Something needs to be done immediately to stop the separation of children from their parents on the nation’s border, but unless our immigration policy is fixed, how can we insure that these injustices won't happen again? You can gather this and more information about Brazilian Consulate in Atlanta below in this article.

In an op-ed written by J. D. Flynn, editor-in-chief of the Catholic News Agency (CNA), he argues that it’s not enough to condemn the treatment of illegal immigrants who are separated from their children at the border without asking what should happen instead.

“It’s . . . not enough to call for an end to family separation at the border without asking what led to this humanitarian crisis, and what kind of reforms will really make a difference,” he writes.

"There have been, unfortunately, too few solutions proposed to address a real problem: how should the identity of family members be verified at the border, to ensure that children are not being trafficked? That issue needs more than moralizing or grandstanding. It needs a real solution.”

No matter how discouraged we may be while seeing images of crying children in cage-like detention centers, Catholics need to lead the effort to develop comprehensive immigration reforms rooted in the principles of justice so that these injustices will never happen again.

“Only serious reforms, which create a system that protects security and the right to migrate, will end humanitarian crises at the border, mass detentions and deportations, and the deaths of migrants crossing through the desert,” Flynn writes.

He goes on to cite five principles of Catholic social teaching that are relevant to creating a just immigration policy.

“That nations have a right to security; that families have the right to migrate for safety, freedom, or economic opportunity; that justice obliges countries who can receive immigrants without detriment to the welfare of their citizens to do so; that wealthy and stable nations ought to assist unstable and poor countries; and that the family is sacred, sovereign, and prior to the state,” he cites.

The United States has the right to security because uncontrolled borders are an injustice not only to our country’s citizens but to the immigrants who cross them.

“But the United States also has the capacity to receive legally many more immigrants than we do now,” Flynn says.

“We’re facing a labor shortage that won’t be resolved by the restrictive caps and quotas we now place on immigration, or by the byzantine processes that make waiting times for legal migration longer than people’s lifetimes. And importing labor also expands our tax base and our domestic consumer base. Those benefits outweigh the costs - measured in the provision of social services - associated with increased immigration.”

Even more important than the economic reasons are the moral reasons why we need immigration reform.

“We are a wealthy and safe nation. Poor people, from poor countries, have the right to migrate for work and security. Our wealth and safety will not be fatally compromised by their arrival. This is not a matter of charity. It is a matter of justice.”

Flynn goes on to cite Pope Pius XII who wrote to the bishops of the United States in 1948 “the Creator of the universe made all good things primarily for the good of all. Since land everywhere offers the possibility of supporting a large number of people, the sovereignty of the State, although it must be respected, cannot be exaggerated to the point that access to this land is, for inadequate or unjustified reasons, denied to needy and decent people from other nations, provided of course, that the public wealth, considered very carefully, does not forbid this.”

The pope’s words remain as true today as they were 70 years ago.

“We cannot hoard our prosperity. We cannot exaggerate our national sovereignty,” Flynn writes. “Our land, our jobs, our prosperity itself exists primarily for the good of all. God did not make the land on which we live, or bless the country we call home, so that we could live in comfortable security while those outside our gates suffer violence, chaos, and hunger.”

The rule of law definitely matters, but the justice of our laws matter too – and when our laws are measured against the Church’s criteria, they are not just.

“Using family separation as a deterrent for migration is an intolerable and contemptible injustice,” Flynn writes.

Even though reform of these laws will probably be a long-time coming, this is no reason to abandon the fight for a comprehensive and just immigration policy.

“The United States needs a program of immigration reform that recognizes our moral obligation to allow broader participation in our economy,” Flynn writes. “Catholics must lead the way toward this reform.”

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