The Immigration Issue And Catholic Social Teaching
Author's Note: I was recently asked by a local parish priest in Pasco, WA to put together a 1-hour radio program entitled The Immigration Issue And Catholic Social Teaching. He asked that I assemble a panel to discuss the issues surrounding the 12 million people who are presently here in the U.S. in undocumented status. The program was aired on the local Catholic radio station, KHSS 100.7 FM, last Tuesday, February 16 at 5 p.m.
The program deals primarily with how a person who looks at the immigration issue through the lens of New Testament values should view the issue of the phenomenon of 12 million individuals in this country in undocumented status. It deals with the sub-issues of crime by immigrants, health care costs and the payment of taxes. It speaks to whether the Catholic Church subscribes to an "Open Door" immigration policy and whether entering this country illegally is a "sin" in the Catholic context, and if so, how serious a sin.
Although the program approaches the immigration issue from the perspective of Catholic social teaching, Iím fairly certain that the principles that inform the Catholic approach to this issue would be similar, if not identical, to the principles which would guide other denominations of Christianity as well as Judaism and Islam.
Since the immigration issue is virtually always discussed from the political or economic or even environmental perspective, I think it might be valuable for people to have a chance to consider the issue within the framework of justice and morality.
To listen to The Immigration Issue and Catholic Social Teaching , please click here.
Tom Roach is an immigration attorney based in Pasco, WA.
Nancy Mudd is a local high school teacher at Tri-Cities Prep, a Catholic high school based in Pasco, WA.
Gabriel Portugal is a local teacher and long-time Hispanic community activist.
Father Matthew Nicks is the assistant pastor at St. Patrick Catholic church.
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