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 2019 – Building Communities of Welcome – emphasizes our responsibility as Catholics to engage and welcome newcomers on their arrival, and help to ease their transition into a new life here in the United States. 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.
As a parish, we will be reflecting more deeply on this theme on January 6th, as we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany.
South Metro Immigration Coalition Update (July 11, 2018)
We have held regular gatherings over the past several months, discerning how we should respond to this issue in light of the Church’s teaching. We have learned that many of our immigrant brothers and sisters in the Risen Savior faith community deal with a tremendous amount of anxiety because they do not know what legal rights they have, or even that they have any rights.
We recently met with representatives from the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota and are working with them to offer a legal information session aimed at helping immigrants know their legal rights. This even will take place sometime in September and will be open to all parishioners. In the meantime, here are some things everyone should know:
If an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer comes to the residence, the individual may refuse to open the door until the officer presents a warrant. The individual can ask the officer to slide the warrant under the door.
Individuals have the right to remain silent and do not have to answer the officer’s questions.
Individuals can demand to speak to their legal counsel and can refuse to sign any documents until they have spoken with their attorney.