Many Catholics may be asking, why does the Church say we need immigration reform? The immigration debate encourages us to ask, “what are the just, or right, relationships between American citizens and newcomers?” This resource invites you to use the pastoral circle to answer those questions. Activities within each section are listed from least involved to most involved.
- Listen to testimonies of would-be migrants through the Busted Borders series on Busted Halo.
- Watch films depicting migrants’ plights entering and living in the United States and/or their impact in the United States. Consider Fast Food Nation, The Visitor, Dying to Live.
- Read the US and Mexican Bishops’ 2003 letter Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, and explore the materials on the website of the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform: Justice for Immigrants.
- Contact your Provincial Assistant for Social Ministries and ask to be in touch with local people adversely affected by our current immigration policy.
- Read a short meditation on migration, The Lifeboat and the Banquet by Luis Tampe, SJ.
- Read a longer article by Dr. Kristin E. Heyer of Santa Clara, “Immigration: A Faithful Approach to Matters of Citizenship,” Journal of Religion and Society Supplement Series 2 (2008), eds. Dennis Hamm, SJ and Gail S. Risch, 143.
- Attend mass in a language that is unfamiliar to you. Reflect upon what feels familiar. Reflect upon what feels different. How might this compare to a migrant’s experience?
- Read the book And You Welcomed Me: Migration and Catholic Social Teaching and use the study guide available at www.andyouwelcomedme.org for discussion.
- Engage in dialogue with your parishioners or classmates on the matter.
- Send a postcard from the Justice for Immigrants campaign to your Representative and two Senators, and invite five friends to do the same. Print postcards; contact email@example.com for an order form; or send one online at www.justiceforimmigrants.org.
- Sign up for action alerts regarding legislative action and take action when requested; visit www.justiceforimmigrants.org, or www.capwiz.com/jesuit for action alerts from the Jesuit Conference and Jesuit Refugee Services.
- Sign on to the Jesuit migration sign-on letter as an individual or institution.
- Volunteer with your local diocese or other immigrants’ organization, or volunteer to teach ESL, to get more involved in advocating for immigration reform.