It was precisely within the historical processes of forced and voluntary movements that faith in Christ entered into these lands and extended all over the continent. Faith in Christ has thus "shaped [ou religious profile, marked by moral values which, though they are not always consistently practiced and at times are cast into doubt, are in a sense the heritage of all Americans, even of those who do not explicitly recognize this fact" EA, no.
Our continent has consistently received immigrants, refugees, exiles, and the persecuted from other lands. Fleeing injustice and oppression and seeking liberty and the opportunity to achieve a full life, many have found work, homes, security, liberty, and growth for themselves and their families. Our countries share this immigrant experience, though with different expressions and to different degrees.
Since its origins, the Mexican nation has had a history marked by encounters between peoples who, coming from different lands, have transformed and enriched it.follow site
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It was the encounter between Spaniards and indigenous people that gave rise to the Mexican nation in a birth that was full of the pain and joy that the struggle for life entails. Besides this, immigrants from all continents have participated in the birth of Mexico; they continue to do so now and will for years to come.
Mexico is not only a country of emigrants, but also a country of immigrants who come to build their lives anew. It is important to remember the difficult experiences many of our brothers and sisters have of being strangers in a new land and to welcome those who come to be among us. Since its founding, the United States has received immigrants from around the world who have found opportunity and safe haven in a new land.
The labor, values, and beliefs of immigrants from throughout the world have transformed the United States from a loose group of colonies into one of the leading democracies in the world today. From its founding to the present, the United States remains a nation of immigrants grounded in the firm belief that newcomers offer new energy, hope, and cultural diversity. At the present time, the interdependence and integration of our two peoples is clear. According to U. Moreover, each year the United States admits between , to , Mexicans into the country as legal permanent residents, amounting to nearly 20 percent of the total number of legal permanent residents admitted each year.
In addition to this present interdependence, Mexico and the United States have been bound historically by spiritual connections. Our common faith in Jesus Christ moves us to search for ways that favor a spirit of solidarity. It is a faith that transcends borders and bids us to overcome all forms of discrimination and violence so that we may build relationships that are just and loving. Under the light of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the littlest of her children, who were as powerless as most migrants are today, our continent's past and present receive new meaning.
It was St. Juan Diego whom our Mother asked to build a temple so in it she could show her love, compassion, aid, and defense to all her children, especially the least among them. In his landmark encyclical Pacem in Terris , Blessed Pope John XXIII expands the right to migrate as well as the right to not have to migrate: "Every human being has the right to freedom of movement and of residence within the confines of his own country; and, when there are just reasons for it, the right to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there.
For more powerful nations, a stronger obligation exists. The Church also has recognized the plight of refugees and asylum seekers who flee persecution. The right to asylum must never be denied when people's lives are truly threatened in their homeland. Pope John Paul II also addresses the more controversial topic of undocumented migration and the undocumented migrant. In his message for World Migration Day, he notes that such migrants are used by developed nations as a source of labor. Ultimately, the pope says, elimination of global underdevelopment is the antidote to illegal immigration.
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Both of our episcopal conferences have echoed the rich tradition of church teachings with regard to migration. Persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland. All persons have the right to find in their own countries the economic, political, and social opportunities to live in dignity and achieve a full life through the use of their God-given gifts.
In this context, work that provides a just, living wage is a basic human need. Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families. The Church recognizes that all the goods of the earth belong to all people. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right. Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders. The Church recognizes the right of sovereign nations to control their territories but rejects such control when it is exerted merely for the purpose of acquiring additional wealth.
More powerful economic nations, which have the ability to protect and feed their residents, have a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows. Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection. Those who flee wars and persecution should be protected by the global community.
This requires, at a minimum, that migrants have a right to claim refugee status without incarceration and to have their claims fully considered by a competent authority. The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected. Regardless of their legal status, migrants, like all persons, possess inherent human dignity that should be respected.
Often they are subject to punitive laws and harsh treatment from enforcement officers from both receiving and transit countries. Government policies that respect the basic human rights of the undocumented are necessary. The Church recognizes the right of a sovereign state to control its borders in furtherance of the common good. It also recognizes the right of human persons to migrate so that they can realize their God-given rights. These teachings complement each other. While the sovereign state may impose reasonable limits on immigration, the common good is not served when the basic human rights of the individual are violated.
In the current condition of the world, in which global poverty and persecution are rampant, the presumption is that persons must migrate in order to support and protect themselves and that nations who are able to receive them should do so whenever possible. It is through this lens that we assess the current migration reality between the United States and Mexico. We commend church communities that have established migrant shelters that provide appropriate pastoral and social services to migrants.
We encourage Catholics and all people of good will to work with the community to address the causes of undocumented migration and to protect the human rights of all migrants. We call on the local church to help newcomers integrate in ways that are respectful, that celebrate their cultures, and that are responsive to their social needs, leading to a mutual enrichment of the local church. We ask that special attention be given to migrant and immigrant children and youth as they straddle two cultures, especially to give them opportunities for leadership and service in the community and to encourage vocations among them.
The Church on both sides of the border must dedicate resources to provide pastoral care for migrants who are detained or incarcerated. The presence of the Church within detention facilities and jails is an essential way of addressing the human rights violations that migrants may face when they are apprehended. We encourage local dioceses to sponsor pertinent social services for migrants and immigrants, particularly affordable legal services.
In many rural dioceses, the primary site of pastoral outreach for farm workers is the migrant camp, usually at a significant distance from the parish church. In this context we encourage local parishioners to be prepared as home missionaries and the migrants themselves to be prepared as catechists and outreach workers.
The one ancestral homeland of the Tohono O'odham nation that stretches across the United States and Mexico has no border. Neither does the homeland of the Yaqui nation. Tribal members' rights to travel freely throughout the land they have inhabited for one thousand years should be respected. They should be able to visit family members and participate in religious and cultural celebrations, observances, and other community events without harassment or multiple identity checks in both Mexico and the United States.
Migrants should be met with a hospitable and welcoming attitude which can encourage them to become part of the Church's life, always with due regard for their freedom and their specific cultural identity. Cooperation between the dioceses from which they come and those in which they settle, also through specific pastoral structures provided for in the legislation and praxis of the Church, has proved extremely beneficial to this end. In this way the most adequate and complete pastoral care possible can be ensured.
The Church in America must be constantly concerned to provide for the effective evangelization of those recent arrivals who do not yet know Christ. The United States and Mexico share a special relationship that requires focused attention upon joint concerns. The realities of migration between both nations require comprehensive policy responses implemented in unison by both countries. The current relationship is weakened by inconsistent and divergent policies that are not coordinated and, in many cases, address only the symptoms of the migration phenomenon and not its root causes.
Now is the time for both the United States and Mexico to confront the reality of globalization and to work toward a globalization of solidarity. We call upon both governments to cooperate and to jointly enact policies that will create a generous, legal flow of migrants between both nations. It is now time to harmonize policies on the movement of people, particularly in a way that respects the human dignity of the migrant and recognizes the social consequences of globalization.
With these goals in mind, we offer several policy recommendations for both nations to consider that address the root causes of migration, legal avenues for migration, and humane law enforcement. These recommendations focus upon both U. Addressing the Root Causes of Migration As we have stated, persons should have the opportunity to remain in their homeland to support and to find full lives for themselves and their families.
This is the ideal situation for which the world and both countries must strive: one in which migration flows are driven by choice, not necessity. Paramount to achieving this goal is the need to develop the economies of sending nations, including Mexico. Only a long-term effort that adjusts economic inequalities between the United States and Mexico will provide Mexican workers with employment opportunities that will allow them to remain at home and to support themselves and their families.
The Church has consistently singled out economic inequality between nations as a global disorder that must be addressed. Within the United States-Mexico relationship, we have witnessed the application of economic policies that do not adequately take into account the welfare of individual proprietors who struggle to survive. Both nations should reconsider the impact of economic and trade agreements on persons who work hard at making a living through individual enterprises.
The creation of employment opportunities in Mexico would help to reduce poverty and would mitigate the incentive for many migrants to look for employment in the United States. The implementation of economic policies in Mexico that create living-wage jobs is vital, especially for Mexican citizens without advanced skills.
Targeted development projects in Mexican municipalities and rural areas that traditionally have had the highest rates of emigration are necessary. Projects and resources particularly should be targeted to the Mexican agricultural sector and small businesses. As border regions are the focal point of the migration phenomenon, resources also should be directed toward communities on the United States-Mexico border.
Such additional resources would augment existing efforts by border residents to aid migrants in meeting their most basic needs. We urge the initiation of joint border development projects that would help build up the economies of these areas so that border residents may continue to work and live cooperatively. Church leaders should work with both communities on the U. Creating Legal Avenues for Migration With both the United States and Mexico experiencing economic, social, and cultural integration on an unprecedented scale, it is important that both governments formally acknowledge this reality by enacting reforms in the immigration systems of both countries.
Family-Based Immigration As pastors, we are troubled by how the current amalgamation of immigration laws, policies, and actions pursued by both governments often impedes family unity. While the majority of Mexican migrants enter the United States to find work, many cross the border to join family members.
The U. This cap, along with processing delays, has resulted in unacceptable waiting times for the legal reunification of a husband and wife, or of a parent and child. For example, the spouse or child of a Mexican-born legal permanent resident can wait approximately eight years to obtain a visa to join loved ones in the United States. Spouses and parents thus face a difficult decision: either honor their moral commitment to family and migrate to the United States without proper documentation, or wait in the system and face indefinite separation from loved ones.
This is an unacceptable choice, and a policy that encourages undocumented migration. In order to ensure that families remain together, reform of the U. A new framework must be established that will give Mexican families more opportunities to legally reunite with their loved ones in the United States. Family unity also is weakened when the children of immigrants are left unprotected.
In the United States, birthright citizenship should be maintained as an important principle in U. In Mexico, some children are being denied birth certificates and consequent Mexican nationality due to their parents' undocumented status. As the Mexican Constitution ensures and Article 68 of the National Law of Population codifies, such children have the right and protection to be documented at birth.
Otherwise, their access to health, education, and other basic services may be denied later in life. Moreover, the right to an identity and nationality are enshrined in international covenants. Legalization of the Undocumented Approximately Each year, an estimated , Mexican migrants enter the United States without authorization, working in such industries as agriculture, service, entertainment, and construction. A broad legalization program of the undocumented would benefit not only the migrants but also both nations.
Making legal the large number of undocumented workers from many nations who are in the United States would help to stabilize the labor market in the United States, to preserve family unity, and to improve the standard of living in immigrant communities. Moreover, migrant workers, many of whom have established roots in their communities, will continue to contribute to the U.
Legalization also would maintain the flow of remittances to Mexico and would give Mexicans safe and legal passage back to Mexico, if necessary. In addition, such legalization would promote national security by reducing fear in immigrant communities and by encouraging undocumented persons to become participating members of society. 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. Congress should enact a legalization program for immigrants regardless of their country of origin.
In the case of Mexico, the legalization programs that the Mexican National Migration Institute have executed provide a good beginning. The benefits of legalization have been evident to the migrants themselves, since they may now work with the protection of their basic labor rights; and to the government, which can now gain a more realistic picture of the population present in the country. We hope that future programs will provide more publicity and information to the public, will increase the number of and better train those who administer them, and will decrease the cost to the applicant, which in the past has disadvantaged those with lesser means.
In the context of the United States-Mexico bilateral relationship, the United States needs Mexican laborers to maintain a healthy economy and should make a special effort to provide legal avenues for Mexican workers to obtain in the United States jobs that provide a living wage and appropriate benefits and labor protections. A system that is transparent and that protects the rights of workers should be formulated. Visa costs of the program should remain affordable for all who wish to participate. Reform in worker programs must be coupled with a broad-based legalization program.
Mexican workers who labor in the United States send large portions of their wages, which they have earned by the sweat of their brows, back to their families in Mexico. These funds are an important source of support for many families in Mexico. Perhaps a more efficient means can be devised for sending funds to Mexico that would result in more of the money reaching those in need. Furthermore, arrangements could be made with the organizations that process these remittances to channel some of their earnings from the fees to support community development efforts in Mexico, such as road construction, sewers, health clinics, and so on.
Such an approach could be further expanded by making arrangements with the U. More problematic is the reform of U. The first U. The current program, which allows more than thirty thousand workers to enter the United States each year, is marked by a lack of enforcement of worker protections and by insufficient wages and benefits to support a family. Nevertheless, we recognize that, as an alternative to undocumented migration, an efficient legal pathway must be established that protects the basic labor rights of foreign-born workers.
In order to prevent future abuse of workers, any new temporary worker program must afford Mexican and other foreign workers wage levels and employment benefits that are sufficient to support a family in dignity; must include worker protections and job portability that U. It must employ strong enforcement mechanisms to protect workers' rights and give workers the option to become lawful permanent residents after a specific amount of time. In addition, the United States and Mexico should conclude a Social Security agreement that allows workers to accrue benefits for work performed during participation in the program.
A properly constructed worker program would reduce the number of undocumented persons migrating from Mexico to the United States, lessening the calls for border enforcement and the demand for the services of unscrupulous smugglers. Moreover, in order to honor the labor rights of foreign-born workers, the United States should sign the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which lays out principles for the protection of the labor and human rights of migrant workers.
As explained above, the Catholic Church recognizes the right and responsibility of sovereign nations to control their borders and to ensure the security interests of their citizens. Therefore, we accept the legitimate role of the U. We do not accept, however, some of the policies and tactics that our governments have employed to meet this shared responsibility. The men and women of the law enforcement agencies charged with maintaining the United States-Mexico border have difficult jobs that require long hours in sometimes extreme conditions.
Unfortunately, the enforcement policies that they implement have had the effect of undermining the human dignity of migrants and creating a confrontational and violent relationship between enforcement officers and migrants. Steps must be taken to create an environment in which force is used only in the most necessary circumstances, and only to the extent needed, to protect the physical well-being of both the enforcement officer and the migrant.
This requires not only a review and reform of enforcement tactics, but also, more importantly, a reshaping of the enforcement policies of both nations. In , the U. According to an August report by the U. General Accounting Office GAO , the primary discernible effect of the enforcement strategy has been to divert migrants away from the largest concentration of enforcement resources, most typically to remote regions of the southwestern United States.
During the same period, the number of undocumented persons in the United States has more than doubled, from four million in to more than eight million in Jose Luis Hernandez Aguirre tried desperately to find work in the maquiladora plants near Mexicali but was unable to do so. With a wife and two children, ages one and seven, Jose needed to find a job that would put food on the table.
Joined by his brother Jaime and several others, the group headed for the United States with hope. After one day, brother Jaime called and reported to the family and Jose's sister, Sonia, that Jose was lost. Jaime could not make the trek in the desert, but Jose wanted to continue on the journey. He had to find a job for his family. Four days later, Jose's body was found in the desert. His sister Sonia borrowed a truck to retrieve Jose's remains.
Upon her return, she encountered another group of migrants heading to the United States. In the Church no one is a stranger, and the Church is not foreign to anyone, anywhere. As a sacrament of unity and thus a sign and a binding force for the whole human race, the Church is the place where illegal immigrants are also recognized and accepted as brothers and sisters.
It is the task of the various Dioceses actively to ensure that these people, who are obliged to live outside the safety net of civil society, may find a sense of brotherhood in the Christian community. Solidarity means taking responsibility for those in trouble. The Church must, therefore, welcome all persons regardless of race, culture, language, and nation with joy, charity, and hope.
It must do so with special care for those who find themselves—regardless of motive—in situations of poverty, marginalization, and exclusion. We ask our presidents to continue negotiations on migration issues to achieve a system of migration between the two countries that is more generous, just, and humane. We call for legislatures of our two countries to effect a conscientious revision of the immigration laws and to establish a binational system that accepts migration flows, guaranteeing the dignity and human rights of the migrant.
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We ask public officials who are in charge of formulating, implementing, and executing immigration laws to reexamine national and local policies toward the migrant and to use their leadership positions to erase misconceptions about migration. We ask adjudicators who process immigrants' legal claims to create a welcoming atmosphere that does not threaten their confidence or security. We encourage the media to support and promote a genuine attitude of welcoming toward migrants and immigrants.
We, the Catholic bishops of the United States and Mexico, pledge ourselves to defend the migrant. We also pledge to support the creation of the necessary conditions so that all may enjoy the fruit of their work and life in their homeland, if they so wish. We stand in solidarity with you, our migrant brothers and sisters, and we will continue to advocate on your behalf for just and fair migration policies. We commit ourselves to animate communities of Christ's disciples on both sides of the border to accompany you on your journey so that yours will truly be a journey of hope, not of despair, and so that, at the point of arrival, you will experience that you are strangers no longer and instead members of God's household.
We pray that, wherever you go, you will always be conscious of your dignity as human beings and of your call to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ, who came that we "might have life and have it more abundantly" Jn We invite you who are forced to emigrate to maintain contact with your homes and, especially, to maintain fidelity to your families so that you treasure your cultural values and the gift of faith and so that you bring these treasures to whatever place you go.
The appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego revealed the compassionate presence of God reaching out to Mary to be in solidarity with and to give hope to a suffering people. In the same spirit, we, the Catholic bishops of the United States of Mexico and the United States of America, have written this letter to give hope to suffering migrants. We pray that you will experience the same hope that inspired St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans:. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
As it is written: "For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom And may the blessing of Almighty God come down upon you and be with you forever: the blessing of God the Father, who loves you with an everlasting love, the blessing of God the Son, who was called out of exile in Egypt to be our Savior, and the blessing of God the Holy Spirit, who guides you to extend Christ's reign wherever you go.
And may Mary of Guadalupe, our mother, bring you safely home. Ecclesia in America, January 22, , Washington, D. See Refugee , below. The definition conforms to that of a refugee except regarding the location of the person upon application for asylum: The asylee applies for protection in the country of asylum, whereas the refugee applies for status in either his or her home country under certain circumstances or in a country of temporary asylum. Globalization: The process whereby the world's goods, communications, and peoples are more fully integrated, accessible, and interdependent.
Immigrant: A person who moves to another country to take up permanent residence. Legal Immigrant: A person who has been admitted to reside and work on a permanent basis in the United States; admission is most commonly based on reunification with close family members or employment. Migrant: A person on the move, either voluntarily or involuntarily, in the person's own country, internationally, or both.
Unlike refugees, migrants are commonly considered free to return home whenever they wish because their lives are not in danger there. Refugee: Any person, who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his or her nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling, to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his or her habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it source: United Nations International Law.
Undocumented immigrant: A person who is in a country without the permission of that country's government. Such persons are called "undocumented" because they lack the required paperwork. Maccagnan, ed. Retrieved from Vatican website: www. Charles Seminary, , 50, citing June 1, , Vatican radio address. Their presence has enriched our local communities, rural areas, and cities, and their faith in God has enlightened our increasingly secularized culture" USCCB Resolution on Immigration Reform, November 16, , no.
Numerical limits on visas have adversely impacted many nationalities, especially Filipinos.
In the context of this statement, we focus on Mexican family reunification because of the proximity of Mexico to the United States and because of the unprecedented number of families separated between these two countries. The per-country limit for Mexico and other affected countries, such as the Philippines, should be increased without harming allotments for other nations.
Convention, migrant workers are viewed as more than laborers or economic entities. They are social entities with families and, accordingly, have rights, including the right to family reunification. This document can be obtained from the U.
A Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States
Roughly 10 percent were referred to the U. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, and less than 10 percent of those referred led to prosecutions. See Chaos on the U. Such councils include representatives from broad sectors of Mexican society, including universities, shelters, and churches.
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Border Patrol does include some treatment of human rights protection in their training. More intensive instruction in the proper use of force and in appropriate engagement and retention techniques should be considered. Source: U. It is arbitrary, firstly, because no due process is required, in other words, it is a faculty that may not be submitted to the scrutiny of constitutionality or legality, either ex ante or ex post.
It is a direct elimination of the guarantees contained under articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. References: No. It was approved simultaneously by the full bodies of U. Catholic bishops and the Mexican bishops at their November General Meetings and has been authorized for publication in the United States by the undersigned.
William P. Used with permission. Priestley of his travels in England which was published in Commissioned by publisher Victor Gollancz to write a study of contemporary England, Priestley recounts his travels around England in He shares his observations on the social problems he witnesses, and appeals for democratic socialist change. English Journey was an influential work, inspiring George Orwell 's The Road to Wigan Pier ,  and "has even been credited with winning the election for the Labour Party". In the work, Priestley also expresses racism towards Irish immigrants in England: "A great many speeches have been made and books written on the subject of what England has done to Ireland I should be interested to hear a speech and read a book or two on the subject of what Ireland has done to England In a book of the same title, Beryl Bainbridge retraces Priestley's steps to capture the changes that half a century has brought to their shared native land.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A History of Modern Britain. Works by J. Kettle and Mrs.
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