Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Justice to immigrants

Participants at the Catholic bishops’ Regional Consultation on Migration in Washington, June 2-4 issued a joint statement calling for protection, hospitality, service and justice to immigrants throughout the hemisphere.

The bishops called attention to several issues that should be addressed on a regional level, such as the promotion of sustainable economic development in the hemisphere, violence and drug smuggling, human trafficking, protection of migrants, refugees and other vulnerable population, and special assistance to Haiti.

They also called upon the Congress of the United States and the Obama Administration to affirm the country’s tradition as a nation of immigrants and “reform U.S. immigration law to allow migrants who work hard in the U.S. economy to enjoy the benefits of legal protection.”

“This reform would preclude the need to impose criminal penalties on persons not lawfully admitted,” said the bishops. “It also would end deportations of family members and the breakup of families.”

The meeting congregated Catholic bishops and staff of Catholic agencies working with migrants in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Also present were Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People and representatives from the Latin American Council of Bishops’ Conferences (CELAM).

Full text of the statement is here.