“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” These words, engraved inside the Statue of Liberty, speak to the unique character of our country as a nation of immigrants. Catholics derive their special concern for the immigrant from the many biblical accounts of immigration, from Abraham to Jacob, to the Israelites’ passage into and out of Egypt, to the flight of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph themselves out of their homeland. The Catholic Church supports reform of our immigration system that is merciful, charitable, and compassionate to those here simply working for a better life, while also recognizing the legitimate responsibility of the federal government to maintain control of our nation’s borders.

According to the Catechism, “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him. Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.”

November 2011: A Reflection on Illegal Immigration from Catholic & Protestant Bishops in Kansas


Catholic Bishops Address Immigration Bills in Kansas Legislature

Kansas’ Catholic bishops submitted testimony to House and Senate committees this week laying out their hope for a just and humane solution to the state’s immigration concerns.  The legislation under consideration ranges from a state-level guest worker program to an Arizona-style approach authorizing local enforcement of federal immigration laws. Read More >>

SRS Policy Change Ends Food Aid for Children of Illegal Immigrants

January 23, 2012 | | Posted in The Issues

The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has changed the formula it uses to determine eligibility for federal food assistance.  Under the new policy, certain US citizen children whose parents are in the country illegally will no longer be eligible for food stamps.  SRS contends that under the old formula, households with illegal immigrant […] Read More >>

Catholic & Protestant Bishops Release Statement on Illegal Immigration

Kansas’ Catholic bishops and two Protestant bishops have released a joint statement examining illegal immigration, and the public policies that address it, from a moral perspective.  The six church leaders are offering the reflection to contribute to the public discussion and to assist in the formation of consciences on the topic of illegal immigration. The […] Read More >>

Controversial Immigration Enforcement Bill Stalls

The Kansas House of Representatives voted against a motion yesterday that would have forced debate on the controversial immigration enforcement bill HB 2372.  The motion would have pulled HB 2372 out of the Judiciary Committee where it had previously been “tabled.”  The failed motion makes it seem unlikely, though not impossible, that HB 2372 will […] Read More >>

In-State Tuition Repeal Defeated in Senate Committee

The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee voted against legislation that would repeal the Kansas law that allows the undocumented children of illegal immigrants to pay the in-state tuition rate.  The Kansas bishops submitted a statement to the committee asking for compassion for young people who often had nothing to do with the decision to […] Read More >>

Kansas Bishops Address State Immigration Enforcement Legislation

The Kansas House Judiciary Committee heard testimony yesterday on legislation that would provide for local enforcement of federal immigration laws.  The Kansas Catholic Bishops submitted a written statement expressing their concern over the proposal and offering a broad set of principles that should inform the debate over immigration reform.  Jeanne Gorman Rau, attorney for the […] Read More >>

House Votes to Repeal In-State Tuition Rate for Illegal Immigrants

February 23, 2011 | , , | Posted in The Issues

The Kansas House voted yesterday to change the law that allows illegal immigrants and their children to pay the in-state tuition rate for schools in Kansas.  The legislation now moves to the Senate.  The Kansas bishops had earlier submitted a statement to legislators asking them to show compassion to young people who, in many cases, […] Read More >>