A Special Statement on the Recent Changes to the Immigration Process
For 100 years, Catholic Charities has provided help, hope, and even a home to immigrants and refugees. Now, we welcome the actions taken this week by President Biden to address some of the brokenness of America’s immigration system. They move away from the toxic rhetoric and harmful actions of recent years, and signal a new direction that speaks to the best of our nation’s values.
Catholic Charities’ attorneys and case workers have been with immigrants detained at airports and with children and parents separated at the border. We have seen the sacrifices immigrant families have made—many working on the frontlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic—to keep their communities safe. Catholic Charities knows well the anxiety and fear in our immigrant communities created by much harsh speech and retaliatory policies.
We have counseled thousands of concerned Dreamers. They were brought here as children by their parents and have continued to live under threat of recent chaotic policies. Preserving and fortifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for these 800,000 young people is particularly crucial.
Much more is needed to fix an immigration system that long has been dysfunctional and outdated; our immigration laws require a comprehensive overhaul. The President’s legislative reform proposals are very encouraging. We urge Congress to address these in a bi-partisan way and to enact laws that provide a path for the undocumented to earn citizenship, uphold family-based immigration, honor due process, recognize the contributions of workers, protect the vulnerable fleeing persecution, humanely secure our borders, and address the root causes of migration.
We stand ready to work with President Biden and his Administration, Congress, and all of good will, to address these urgent matters.