From the Diocesan Social Justice Office:
The Catholic bishops of the United States and Mexico have prayed, deliberated and advocated on the immigration issue for the past ten years. In 2003 both the United States and Mexican Conferences of Bishops issued a joint pastoral letter, Strangers No Longer: Together on a Journey of Hope. In the pastoral letter the bishops reflected on migration between Mexico and the United States as a “sign of the times” that is necessary and beneficial, with promises and challenges. “Catholics have a responsibility to welcome newcomers into our communities and parishes, help them integrate and provide material and spiritual support that will allow them to flourish,” said Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Immigration. Remember we are the universal church of Christ.
US Bishops Believe in the Value of low skilled Immigrant Workers
The Bishops advocate for the inclusion of legal paths for low income immigrant workers to come and work in the United States. Despite the antipathy of many Americans towards these low income workers, the Bishops understand that they play a critical role in our economy. in the 7 county Syracuse Diocese there are roughly 12,000 people working on our vegetable, fruit and dairy farms. A very significant majority are Hispanic immigrants. Ask any farmer and he will tell you that few Americans can handle the back breaking on a farm. While the vegetables and fruit farmers have access to legal migrant, seasonal workers, the dairy farmers have much less access to legal, year round immigrants. With over 9,000 dairy farm worker slots to be filled, dairy farmers are faced with the choice of going bankrupt or hiring undocumented/illegal immigrant workers. Our Bishops understand this situation and are supporting both immigrant workers and the farmers who need them.