October 5

National Day for Dignity and Respect


Today is the National Day for Dignity and Respect and marches and rallies for immigration reform are planned in over 60 cities

“Since its founding, the United States has received immigrants from around the world who have found opportunity and safe haven in a new land. The labor, values, and beliefs of immigrants from throughout the world have transformed the United States from a loose group of colonies into one of the leading democracies in the world today. From its founding to the present, the United States remains a nation of immigrants grounded in the firm belief that newcomers offer new energy, hope, and cultural diversity.

When persons cannot find employment in their country of origin to support themselves and their families, they have a right to find work elsewhere in order to survive. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right.

Regardless of their legal status, migrants, like all persons, possess inherent human dignity that should be respected. Often they are subject to punitive laws and harsh treatment from enforcement officers from both receiving and transit countries. Government policies that respect the basic human rights of the undocumented are necessary.

We recognize the phenomenon of migration as an authentic sign of the times. We see it in both our countries through the suffering of those who have been forced to become migrants for many reasons. To such a sign we must respond in common and creative ways so that we may strengthen the faith, hope, and charity of migrants and all the People of God. Such a sign is a call to transform national and international social, economic, and political structures so that they may provide the conditions required for the development for all, without exclusion and discrimination against any person in any circumstance

The Church must, therefore, welcome all persons regardless of race, culture, language, and nation with joy, charity, and hope. It must do so with special care for those who find themselves–regardless of motive–in situations of poverty, marginalization, and exclusion.
Excerpts from Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope by USCCB


Prayer for Just Immigration Reform

For immigration policies that respect the rights and dignity of all migrants and their families. . .
God who is just, hear us.

For policies that acknowledge the right of persons to fulfill their basic needs abroad when they cannot be fulfilled at home. . .
God who is just, hear us.

For policies that welcome refugees and asylum seekers who flee danger in their countries. . .
God who is just, hear us.

For immigration reform that respects national sovereignty and security, but not at the expense of the common good. . .
God who is just, hear us.

For reform that seeks to address the causes of the poverty in developing countries from which many migrants flee. . .
God who is just, hear us.

Just God, guide our leaders as they consider immigration reform proposals. Help us to raise our voices for the vulnerable
that just solutions may be found. Amen.


Be well informed on the issues that underlie the difficulty of passing just immigration reform laws.
Read and reflect on Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope

Suggested Reading

When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Leviticus 19:33-34

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 13:2

Every human being has the right to freedom of movement and of residence within the confines of his own country; and, when there are just reasons for it, the right to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there.
Pope John XXIII

These our brothers and sisters who seek to leave difficult situations in order to find a little serenity and peace, they seek a better place for themselves and for their families  . . . How many times do those who seek this not find understanding, do not find welcome, do not find solidarity!
Pope Francis

It is vitally important that we implement immigration reform. We need a bill that strengthens our borders and protects this nation, but that also makes it simpler for good people to become Americans.
Dave Reichert

Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.
John F. Kennedy

I am a beneficiary of the American people’s generosity, and I hope we can have comprehensive immigration legislation that allows this country to continue to be enriched by those who were not born here.
Madeleine Albright

Already we’re seeing graduates of U.S. higher education going back to their home countries and contributing to societies there, where in the past they would have stayed in the U.S. and built new companies here. We have to have immigration reform that allows talented foreigners to become Americans.
David Malpass

If immigration reform passes, it’ll be a big victory for sanity – nobody really believes it’s healthy for a country to have millions and millions of undocumented noncitizens living in the shadows. But it’ll also be a sign that the Republican Party has gotten tired of letting the Tea Party push it around.
Gail Collins