Mass Catholic Conference

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Calls for Immigration Reform

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Calls for Immigration Reform that Recognizes the ‘Inviolable Dignity’ of All Newcomers

 October 18, 2022

WASHINGTON – Observing how recent responses to migrants demonstrate “the troubling convergence of our broken immigration system and the political divisions of our time,” Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued a reflection on the Catholic Church’s enduring commitment to comprehensive immigration reform and welcoming the stranger as part of its unwavering defense of human life in all its forms. This coincides with the ongoing celebration of Respect Life Month, during which the Catholic Church in the United States invites the faithful to consider more deeply why every human life is valuable and to reflect on how to build a culture that protects life from conception to natural death.

“We simply cannot allow partisan division to continue to impede the needed interventions of government,” Bishop Dorsonville stated. “And while there are no easy solutions to the challenges we face, there is a just path forward that is waiting to be paved by those who are committed to the future of our country,” he added, alluding to this year’s theme for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees.”

Bishop Dorsonville expressed the need for a just immigration reform that provides for the full integration of long-time residents, promotes family unity, honors due process, respects the rule of law, expands legal pathways, preserves and strengthens humanitarian protections, prioritizes dignified alternatives to detention, recognizes the contributions of foreign-born workers, protects the vulnerable, and addresses the root causes of migration.

Before concluding his reflection, the bishop affirmed: “Whether Afghan, Ukrainian, or Venezuelan, Dreamer or undocumented farmworker, asylum seeker, migrant, or refugee, all are imbued by God with an inviolable dignity.”

Bishop Dorsonville’s full reflection, “Migration and the Judgement of the Nations,” is available here.