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US And Mexican Bishops Conferences Respond To The Tensions Of Immigration After September 11, 2001
Strangers No Longer Together on the Journey of Hope
Five principles for migration from Catholic Social Teaching • Persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland. • Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families. • Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders. • Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection. • The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected.
# 1 Persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland.
Right to opportunities in our homeland "Every human being has the right to freedom of movement and of residence within the confines of his own country; and, when there are just reasons for it, the right to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there." "No one would exchange his country for a foreign land if his own afforded him the means of living a decent and happy life"Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 1891 Repeated in Gaudium et Spes #66
# 2Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families.
US & Mexican Bishops on Right to Emigrate “The Church recognizes that all goods of the earth belong to all people. When persons cannot find employment in their country of origin to support themselves and their families, they have a right to find work elsewhere in order to survive. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right.¨ Strangers No Longer 2001, #35
Popes on Right to Emigrate • Pius XII (Exul familius): - If conditions are not available to live with dignity, then people have right to migrate. • John XXIII (Pacem in Terris) - People have the right to emigrate for “just reasons.”
II Vatican Council on Right to Emigrate “When there are just reasons, every human being must be permitted to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there. The fact that he is a citizen of a particular state does not deprive him of membership in the human family, nor of citizenship in that universal society, the common, world-wide fellowship of human beginning.” Gaudium et Spes #66
John Paul II on Right to Emigrate “The Church in America must be a vigilant advocate, defending against any unjust restriction of the natural right of individual persons to move freely within their own nation and from one nation to another. Attention must be called to the rights of migrants and their families and to respect for their human dignity, even in cases of non-legal immigration.” Ecclesia in America #65
Basis Of Right To Emigrate • 3 separate principles (normative rather than positive principles) • Right of a family to sustenance • The priority of the family over the state • The right of economic initiative. • Church is concerned about • Loss of home country • Dangers for migrants, both material & moral
John Paul II On Root Causes “The elimination of underdevelopment is the antidote to major illegal migration.” Migration Day 1995
U.S. & Mexican Bishops on Root Causes • “Migrants are forced from their lands because of poverty, injustice, religious intolerance and armed conflicts.” • Need to develop economies of sending countries (address root causes): ¨The creation of employment opportunities in Mexico would help to reduce poverty and would mitigate the incentive for many migrants to look for employment in the U.S.¨ • Need to promote integration of economies and facilitate movement of people as well as goods. • Projects must reach poorest areas. NAFTA has aggravated inequality in rural areas. Strangers No Longer 2001
U.S. & Mexican Bishops on Globalization “Now is the time for both the U.S. and Mexico to confront the reality of globalization and to work toward a globalization of solidarity… (and)…to harmonize policies on the movement of people, particularly in a way that respects the human dignity of the migrant and recognizes the social consequences of globalization.” Strangers No Longer 2001
U.S. & Mexican Bishops on Globalization Globalization does not offer all people the same opportunities… few are rich and many are poor. • Globalization aggravates inequality • As long as social and economic inequality exists people will migrate…
Catholic teaching on conflict of rights ¨Since land everywhere offers the possibility of supporting a large number of people, the sovereignty of the State, although it must be respected, cannot be exaggerated to the point that access to this land is, for inadequate or unjustified reasons, denied to needy and decent people from other nations, provided of course, that the public wealth, considered very carefully, does not forbid this.¨ Pius XII, Exsul Familia (On the Spiritual Care to Migrants) 1952
U.S. & Mexican Bishops on conflict of rights “The Church recognizes the right of sovereign nations to control their territories but rejects such control merely for the purpose of acquiring additional wealth. More powerful economic nations, which have the ability to protect and feed their residents, have a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows” -Strangers No Longer2001 #36
CONSEQUENCES OF BORDER PATROL B. Border Ineffectiveness A. Border Danger
A. Border Danger 1995 to 2003 2,650 migrants died at Mexico-US border
B. Border ineffectiveness • Spending on border security increased 1993 to 2004 5x to $3.8 billion, while border control 3x.
Border ineffectiveness Since 1994, US government instituted projects to tighten border security (staff, construction of walls, surveillance equipment, AWACS and satellite imagery, etc) 1993 Operation Hold the Line El Paso, TX 1994 Operation Gatekeeper San Diego, CA 1995 Operation Safeguard State of Arizona Since 1994, number of undocumented in the US more than doubled* 1994 US Census 4 million 2000 US Census 8 million 2007 estimate 13 million *Nearly half from overstaying visas.
U.S. & Mexican Bishops on enforcement Need for humane enforcement policies • Abusive agents need training and control. • “Shameful treatment of children in poor housing.” • Fences, blockades create harder conditions with no reduction in migration, just increase risk and death and increase cost of smugglers.
U.S. & Mexican Bishops on enforcement • Stop deporting people without due process and housing them miserably (authorized in 1996 by IIRIRA)
John Paul II on refugees and asylees • “Refugees have a right to emigrate, especially when in danger of losing their lives.” Sollicitudo Rei Socialis 1987 • Refers to world refugee crisis as “the festering of a wound.” Sollicitudo Rei Socialis1987 • Rights of refugees include “right to be reunited with their families and right to a dignified occupation and just wage. The right to asylum must never be denied when people's lives are truly threatened in their homeland.¨ Refugees: A Challenge to Solidarity1992
# 5The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected.
Dignity of Undocumented • Paul VI: “We cannot insist too much on the duty of giving foreigners a hospitable reception. It is the duty imposed by human solidarity and by Christian charity…” Populorum Progressio • John Paul II: “Emigration in search of work should in no way become an opportunity for financial or social exploitation. As regards the work relationship, the same criteria should be applied to immigrant workers as to all other works in the society.” Laborem Exersens
Dignity of Undocumented John Paul II: “The Church in America must be a vigilant advocate, defending against any unjust restriction of the natural right of individual persons to move freely within their own nation and from one nation to another. Attention must be called to the rights of migrants and their families and to respect for their human dignity, even in cases of non-legal immigration.” Ecclesia in America1999
Principles for a solution • Economic policies, e,g, NAFTA & globalization, should: • Promote integration of economies and facilitate movement of people as well as goods. • Create legal avenues for immigration. • Promote family unity (unjust that wives and children often have to wait 8 years for visas. Separated family encourages illegal immigration. Need more visas, both permanent and temporary. • Temporary work program has lacked legal protection for workers; guarantee a change. • U.S. should sign International Convention on the Protection of All Immigrant Workers and Their Families. • Consequences: Less border patrol, less fear, families united, labor moves where needed, no deaths at border, no labor abuse.
Principles for a solution • Assist sending countries, e.g., Mexico • Address slow economic growth • Address serious structural problems • Poverty and inequality • Corruption • Low tax collections • Poor education system • Ineffective political checks and balances • Inadequate infrastructure development • Restrictive business regulations • Rigid, antiquated, inefficient labor market policies