More than 90 presidents of Catholic colleges and universities along with more than 100 theologians and faculty called the country’s immigration policy “morally indefensible” in an open letter to Catholics in the House of Representatives, urging them to pass immigration reform.
Several presidents of colleges and universities represented in The Newman Guide were signatories on the letter demanding action on immigration. John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America; Fr. Bernard F. O’Connor, O.S.F.S., President of DeSales University; Robert Ivany, President, University of St. Thomas in Houston; and Thomas W. Keefe, President, University of Dallas, were among the signatories.
Together we represent universities that educate more than 290,000 students. Leaders on Catholic campuses advocated for the DREAM Act, and we stand with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in urging Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes a road to earned citizenship. Our broken immigration system, which tears parents from children, traps aspiring Americans in the shadows, and undermines the best values of this nation, is morally indefensible.
We hope that as you face intense political pressure from powerful interest groups, you will draw wisdom and moral courage from our shared faith tradition. Catholic teaching values the human dignity and worth of all immigrants, regardless of legal status. We remind you that no human being made in the image of God is illegal. The Vatican’s Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church warns against the exploitation of immigrant workers and says “immigrants are to be received as persons and helped, together with their families, to become a part of societal life.” We are part of an immigrant church in an immigrant nation.
The letter told legislators that “inaction is unacceptable” and “protecting our borders and creating an earned path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in this country are not competing interests.”
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