Yesterday the Catholic Church in the United States began a campaign of contacts with lawmakers in the federal government calling on them to pass immigration reform as a part of their traditional yearly observance of National Migration Week. Migrants, especially children, victims of human trafficking, political refugees and the undocumented, are considered by the US Catholic Bishops Conference to have found themselves “existing in a kind of figurative darkness where their options remain limited.”
It is for that reason that, in addition to the spiritual support and social services that are already regularly offered by the Catholic Church, the Bishops have asked Catholics in the United States this week to contact legislators in order to urge them to pass immigration reform.
They believe that this reform has to include a process of legalization that will allow such people to emerge from the shadows and allow them to contribute to society and have some dignity in their lives. Anyone who wants to help will be able to do so by sending emails to Senators or their congressional representatives via Justice for Immigrants, a bilingual website. The call was aimed at all Catholics, but is likely to have a particularly strong resonance with Hispanics, who form 39% of all Catholics in the United States and more than 50% of those aged under 30.
According to statistics from the federal government, around 8,000 undocumented and unaccompanied minors were forced to remain in the custody of authorities in 2011.