SAGINAW – Stating that it is unfair and mistaken to blame undocumented persons for problems more accurately attributed to failed federal policy, the seven diocesan Catholic Bishops of Michigan, including the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, have composed a statement on the public policy issue of immigration that is now being sent to Catholics across the state, to members of the Michigan Legislature and to the Michigan congressional delegation.
The statement was coordinated by the Michigan Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan. Written in both English and Spanish, the statement may be found online at www.micatholicconference.org/welcomingthestranger/
The purpose for the bishops’ statement is to draw attention to the lack of a cohesive and effective federal policy on immigration that addresses the common good for all peoples in the country, and to point out that Congress’s failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform has lead to individual states, including Michigan, to address the issue. The bishops are calling on the Michigan Legislature to reject any measure that impugns immigrants, especially the undocumented, and are urging members of the Michigan congressional delegation to contribute to federal efforts that seek to fix the nation’s immigration system.
Should the Michigan Legislature address immigration legislation, the bishops state any measure must strive to:
Uphold the human dignity of all persons and work against any injustice which would compromise the dignity of immigrants;Promote and give priority to the reunification of families; Recognize the rich contribution to the community by those immigrants and migrants who work and live here.
According to the bishops’ statement, “The federal government has the responsibility to enact and enforce laws that treat migrant peoples with the same dignity as its native-born citizens. As such, there must be a concerted effort to find a pathway toward citizenship for undocumented persons who live here, who work here, have raised a family here and have contributed to the common good.”
The seven diocesan bishops of Michigan are the Most Rev.Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit; the Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda, Bishop of Gaylord; the Most Rev. Walter A. Hurley, Bishop of Grand Rapids; the Most Rev. Paul J. Bradley, Bishop of Kalamazoo; the Most Rev. Earl Boyea, Bishop of Lansing; the Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample, Bishop of Marquette; and the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw.