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Catholic leaders affirm immigration reform is a pro-life issue
January 22, 2015

Catholic leaders affirm immigration reform is a pro-life issue
PDF of the letter.
Immigration is "another pro-life issue," Cardinal Séan O’Malley reminds us, echoing our Holy Father Pope Francis, who views abortion, extreme economic inequality and the death of migrants as part of a "globalization of indifference" and a "throwaway culture" that treats human beings as disposable.

(Washington, D.C.) January 25, 2015 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the U.S. Jesuit Conference, the Ignatian Solidarity Network and the Kino Border Initiative joined Catholic leaders nationwide in a statement organized by Faith in Public Life calling on Congress to enact humane immigration reform. 

The statement follows:

As Catholics committed to building a culture of life, we write to urge our fellow Catholics in Congress to support the U.S. bishops' effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Our nation’s inhumane and flawed immigration policies leave migrant women, children and families abandoned by the side of the road. 

As Cardinal Séan O’Malley put it in a homily at the U.S.—Mexico border last year: "We know that the border is lined with unmarked graves of thousands who die alone and nameless." 

Immigration is "another pro-life issue," the cardinal reminds us, echoing our Holy Father Pope Francis, who views abortion, extreme economic inequality and the death of migrants as part of a "globalization of indifference" and a "throwaway culture" that treats human beings as disposable.

There are more than two dozen pro-life Catholics in the House of Representatives. Many of them will join thousands of people of faith, including some of us, at the March for Life in Washington (today). As brothers and sisters in faith, we urge these elected officials and all Catholics to defend the sanctity of human lives at all stages. We recognize the image of God in the migrant at the border, in the prisoner on death row, in the pregnant woman and in the hungry child.

The immigration crisis will not be solved by threats to shut down government agencies, enforcement-only strategies or piecemeal approaches. Breaking up immigrant families and denying protection to those fleeing gang or cartel violence, as just one example, is neither a humane or effective strategy. 

Comprehensive immigration reform that would create an earned path to citizenship for those in the shadows, expedite family reunification, strengthen refugee protection, and address why desperate people reluctantly uproot and cross borders, deserves a vote now. Delay and partisan bickering will only lead to more hardship, suffering and death.

(Schools named for purposes of identification only, not endorsement)

Rev. Larry Snyder

President, Catholic Charities USA


Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza (retired)

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston


John J. DeGioia

President, Georgetown University


Bishop William S. Skylstad (retired)

Diocese of Spokane

Former President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Donald M. Kerwin, Jr.

Executive Director, Center for Migration Studies


Michael Galligan-Stierle

President, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities


Rev. Michael Sheeran, S.J.

President, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities


Rev. Michael J. Graham, S.J.

President, Xavier University (Ohio)


Rev. Robert L. Niehoff, S.J.

President, John Carroll University


Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.

President, Loyola University Chicago


Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J.

President, Loyola University New Orleans


Thomas W. Keefe

President, University of Dallas


Rev. James J. Greenfield, OSFS

President, Conference of Major Superiors of Men


Sr. Sharon Holland, IHM,

President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious


Rev. Timothy Kesicki, S.J.

President, Jesuit Conference USA


Armando Borja

National Director, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA


Stephen Schneck

Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies

The Catholic University of America


Frank Monahan

Former Director, Office of Government Liaison

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Francis X. Doyle

Associate General Secretary (retired)

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS

Executive Director, NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby


Sr. Patricia Chappell

Executive Director, Pax Christi USA


Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

President, Fordham University


Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.

President, College of the Holy Cross


Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J.

President, Regis University


Patricia McGuire

President, Trinity Washington University


Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.

President, University of Detroit Mercy


Rev. Thomas B. Curran

President, Rockhurst University


John J. Hurley

President, Canisius College


Linda M. LeMura, Ph.D.

President, Le Moyne College


Sr. Candace Introcaso

President, La Roche College


Rev. Bernard O’Connor

President, DeSales University


Dr. Francesco C. Cesareo

President, Assumption College


Donna M. Carroll

President, Dominican University


Thomas W. Keefe

President, University of Dallas


Thomas Kunkel

President, St. Norbert College


Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J.

President, Fairfield University


Moya Dittmeier

Executive Director, Conference for Mercy Higher Education


Rev. Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J.

Rector of the Jesuit Community

Loyola Marymount University


A. Gabriel Esteban

President, Seton Hall University


Nancy H. Blattner

President, Caldwell University


Br. Norman Hipps

President, Saint Vincent College


John Smarrelli Jr.

President, Christian Brothers University


Mary A. Meehan

President, Alverno College


Donald P. Taylor

President, Cabrini College


Rev. Timothy Lenchak

President, Divine Word College


Anne Munley

President, Marywood University


Sharon Latchaw Hirsch

President, Rosemont College


Jim Collins

President, Loras College


Br. John R. Paige

President, Holy Cross College


Kathleen Maas Weigert

Professor of Women and Leadership

Loyola University Chicago


Timothy Matovina

Executive Director, Institute for Latino Studies

University of Notre Dame


Rev. Daniel G. Groody

Director of Immigration Initiatives

Institute for Latino Studies

University of Notre Dame


Rev. T. Michael McNulty, S.J.

MacLean Professor of Philosophy

St. Joseph’s University


Helen Alvare

Professor of Law

George Mason University School of Law


Jeannine Hill Fletcher

Professor of Theology

Fordham University


John Sniegocki

Associate Professor of Christian Ethics

Xavier University


Suzanne C. Toton, Ed.D.

Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies

Villanova University


Tobias Winright

Maeder Endowed Chair of Health Care Ethics

Saint Louis University


Paul Lakeland

Director, Center for Catholic Studies

Fairfield University


Terrence W. Tilley

Professor of Catholic Theology

Fordham University


Vincent Miller

Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture

University of Dayton


Kathryn Getek Soltis

Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics

Villanova University


Hosffman Ospino

Assistant Professor of Theology and Education

Boston College


Kelly S. Johnson

Associate Professor, Religious Studies

University of Dayton


Una M. Cadegan

Associate Professor, Department of History

University of Dayton


Charles T. Strauss

Assistant Professor of History

Mount St. Mary’s University


Ron Pagnucco, Associate Professor

Department of Peace Studies

College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University


Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J.

Director, Jesuit Social Research Institute

Loyola University New Orleans


Alex Mikulich

Jesuit Social Research Institute

Loyola University New Orleans


Leadership Team, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Sr. Pat McDermott, RSM President

Sr. Eileen Campbell, RSM

Sr. Anne Curtis, RSM

Sr. Deborah Troillett, RSM

Sr. Mary Pat Garvin, RSM


Rev. Raymond Finch, MM

Superior General, Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers

Thomas Allio, Jr.


Diocesan Social Action Director (retired)

Diocese of Cleveland


Rev. Sean Carroll, S.J.

Executive Director, Kino Border Initiative

Nogales, AZ


Charles C. Camosy

Associate Prof. of Theological and Social Ethics

Fordham University


Peter H. Beisheim

Director, Catholic Studies Department

Stonehill College, MA


Christopher G. Kerr

Executive Director, Ignatian Solidarity Network


Gerry Lee

Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns


Karen Clifton

Executive Director, Catholic Mobilizing Network


Patrick Carolan

Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network


Kerry A. Robinson

Executive Director, National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management


John Gehring

Catholic Program Director, Faith in Public Life


Walter Grazer

Former Policy Advisor for International Religious Freedom and Human Rights, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Christopher Hale

Senior Fellow, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good


Richard R. Gaillardetz

Joseph Professor of Catholic Theology

Boston College


Mark J. Allman

Chair of Religious and Theological Studies

Merrimack College


Dolores Christie

Executive Director (retired)

Catholic Theological Society of America


Christopher Pramuk

Associate Professor of Theology

Xavier University


Kevin Ahern

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Manhattan College


Daniel Finn

Professor of Economics and Theology

St. John’s University (MN)


M. Shawn Copeland

Professor of Theology

Boston College


Rev. John A. Coleman, S.J.

Associate Pastor, St. Ignatius Church (San Francisco)


Rev. Joseph Nangle, OFM

Washington, DC


Eugene McCarraher

Associate Professor of Humanities

Villanova University


Sr. Paulette Skiba, BVM

Professor of Religious Studies

Clarke University


Thomas Ryan

Director, Loyola Institute for Ministry

Loyola University New Orleans


Billy Kangas

Writer, Patheos Catholic


Peter H. Beisheim

Director, Catholic Studies Department


Lisa Sowell Cahill

Monan Professor of Theology 

Boston College


The Washington Post: Under Pope Francis, American Catholics see the ‘pro-life’ label as broader than abortion

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