On April 5th, thousands of protestors took to detention centers and government offices all across the United States in order to show their support for immigration reform and undocumented immigrants. Many of those protesting were Hispanic, indirectly shedding light on the way in which the issue is seen by the Catholic Church and the level of importance that is placed on immigration reform being passed.
Of the 70 million Catholics who live in the United States, more than 33 percent are Hispanic, a number that is expected to rise in future years. Of the 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, over 66 percent do not live in the West. A great number of the people who are hoping to migrate from these countries to the US originate in regions of the world that have rapidly growing Catholic populations, such as certain parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Immigration reform is an issue that hits close to home for leaders of the Catholic Church who have to give spiritual inspiration to those involved in political situations. To reconcile these opposing worlds, the Church views immigration reform as a way of enforcing some of its universal teachings, principally that human life is sacred.
After initial promises to reform the immigration system in the early years of the 21st century and during the current Obama administration, there have been situations where unfair treatment has appeared to have been dished out to undocumented immigrants, immigration advocates and protestors, including poor quality food and unhealthy living conditions at detention centers.