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Support policies that increase access to English language acquisition programs
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Support policies that allow all drivers to be licensed
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Support policies that allow immigrant children raised in the U.S. to receive in-state tuition at Maryland colleges
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Oppose policies that take an exclusively punitive stance toward immigrants
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Support federal immigration reform that keeps families together, adopts humane enforcement policies, and allows those without legal status to register with the government and begin a path toward citizenship

Where All Find a Home

Bishops of Maryland Call on Congress to Pass Immigration Reform

October 2013

Maryland’s Catholic bishops call on Congress to pass immigration reform as soon as
, recognizing that an appropriate balance of necessary border safeguards is required with consideration of the human needs of immigrants “who have come to our country seeking the same dream as our own ancestors,” they wrote.

The statement was released in both English and Spanish on October 16, 2013 at the Annual Conference on Hispanic Ministry sponsored by the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Washington.

“We applaud the U.S. Senate for passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and
we urge all members of Maryland's delegation in the House of Representatives to support efforts to pass a similar measure as soon as possible,” the bishops wrote. “It is time to fix our broken immigration system and bring from out of the shadows those who labor in our fields, care for our elderly, build and maintain our homes and lawns, and who work tirelessly at jobs many Americans refuse to fill.”

“As the leaders of the three (arch)dioceses serving 1.2 million Catholics in Maryland, we
pray that the voice of Maryland's Catholic community will convey hope to our immigrant sisters and brothers, and will inspire our elected officials to act with courage and compassion on their behalf. As Pope Francis has said, ‘We pray for a heart which will embrace immigrants. God will judge us upon how we have treated the most needy.’

A Catholic Response to Immigration

Immigration is the subject of debate in our families, neighborhoods, parishes and nation. In many places, the discussion can grow divisive. It doesn't need to be. As Catholics, our focus must be the dignity of the human person and the welfare of families.

America is unique. We are a land of immigrants and our Church has always been a leading advocate for those who are new to our shores. As Catholics, we are called to help lift up all people; and as Americans, we seek to make America stronger and healthier for future generations.

Our faith calls us to embrace all, even the ‘stranger,’ because Christ dwells in us all. “To welcome him and to show him solidarity is a duty of hospitality and fidelity to Christian identity itself,” said Blessed John Paul II in Undocumented Immigrants. Our starting point in deciding how society should treat an individual is not their legal status, but rather their human dignity.

For many of us, our grandparents and forefathers left their homes in Ireland, Italy, Germany and Poland searching for a better life. They were not deterred by the complicated and broken immigration process that exists today. Many did not come with documents. They came out of need and hope for a better future.

The Church does not condone breaking the law, does not support “open borders,” and fully recognizes the legitimate concerns our state and country face regarding illegal immigration. These problems cannot be solved, however, by harshly denying the needs of those who live and work among us here and now, especially the young.

ACTION: Immigration Reform Necessary

Moving the Dream Forward

Just and comprehensive immigration reform is necessary for our country and to uphold the human dignity of all, including those who arrive on our shores illegally.

Congress must pass bipartisan, comprehensive reform which would:

  • Provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons living in the US;
  • Preserve and strengthen family unity as a cornerstone of our national immigration system;
  • Provide legal avenues for low-skilled immigrants to come and work in the US;
  • Restore due process for individuals caught up in the immigration system; and
  • Promote efforts that will address the root causes of migration, such as poverty and persecution.

We need reform that includes a pathway to citizenship and preserves family unity.

Email your Congressman today to support bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform!

Popes & Presidents Speak Out for the Immigrant

Across partisan divides and with the consistency of millennia, popes and presidents speak out for the immigrant.

"We pray for a heart which will embrace immigrants. God will judge us upon how we have treated the most needy."
Pope Francis on Lampedusa, July 9, 2013

"In the Church no one is a stranger, and the Church is not foreign to anyone, anywhere."
Pope John Paul II - Undocumented Migrants, 1996

"In an increasingly globalized society, the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family, that is to say, the community of peoples and nations, in such a way as to shape the earthly city in unity and peace, rendering it to some degree an anticipation and a prefiguration of the undivided city of God."
Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Caritas in veritate, 2009

"At its core, immigration is a sign of a confident and successful nation. It says something about our country that people all around the world are willing to leave their homes and leave their families and risk everything to come to our country. Their talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped us become the leader of the world."
President George W. Bush - July 10, 2013

" Here in America, we’ve always been a nation of immigrants. That’s what’s kept our workforce dynamic, our businesses on the cutting edge, and our economy the strongest in the world. But under the current system, too many smart, hardworking immigrants are prevented from contributing to that success."
President Barack Obama - July 13, 2013

Where All Find a Home

Maryland Bishops' Statement (2007)

In 2007, the Maryland-serving bishops released "Where All Find A Home: A Catholic Response to Immigration." In it, Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl and Wilmington Bishop Michael Saltarelli urged Catholics to engage in faith-filled discussion of the issue.

The Maryland Catholic Conference
10 Francis Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
410.269.1155 / 301.261.1979
410.269.1790 (fax)
Advancing the public policy of the Achdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.
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