Justice for Immigrants
National Migration Week: September 18-24, 2023
For nearly a half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking. The theme for National Migration Week 2023 "Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay" – shines a light on the root causes that drive migration. In many instances, war and conflict have left people with no option but to abandon their homes and seek safety elsewhere. Here are a few points that we, as a people of faith, should be mindful of:
- Catholics are called to stand with immigrants and refugees as our brothers and sisters. This is who the Catholic Church is. This is what we as Catholics do.
- Pope Francis invites us to be part of a culture of encounter as we welcome, protect, integrate, and promote immigrants and refugees in our midst.
- Immigration is about real people who are trying to find a better life and a new beginning. It’s about more than statistics, it’s about families. As Pope Francis stated, “Each migrant has a name, a face and a story.”
- Welcoming immigrants is part of Catholic Social Teaching and reflects the Biblical tradition to welcome the stranger.
- The Catholic Church has been welcoming immigrants and refugees to the United States since the nation’s founding and has been integral to helping them integrate into American culture.
- Forced displacement of people is at the highest level since World War II, with more than 65 million people displaced around the world and over 22 million refugees.