The Provincial Ministers of the American Franciscan Provinces today issued letters to the President of the United States along with members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives supporting efforts of reform in the treatment of immigrants, especially the undocumented, in this country.
Quoting the letter, "As the Provincial Leaders of the Franciscan Friars (OFM) in the U.S., we write to offer our appreciation, encouragement and prayers for taking on the courageous work to pass comprehensive immigration reform. As we witness the Senate’s consideration of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, we look forward to the House of Representatives’ engagement in this important moral challenge of our times. In the months ahead, as this legislation develops, we strongly urge you to shape your decisions based upon the moral framework put forth by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, spelled out in greater detail in a January 8, 2013 letter sent to the President and Congressional leadership by our Directors of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. Namely, that the following principles be part of our nation’s comprehensive immigration reform efforts:
- A path to citizenship that ensures that all immigrants have access to full rights
- A legal employment structure that protects both migrants and United States workers
- A realistic and sustainable mechanism for welcoming future immigrants
- Expedited family reunification and an end to policies and practices that keep families apart
- Due process protections, and accountable and humane enforcement of our immigration laws
- Economic assistance to and fair competition with developing nations to reduce push factors that lead to unlawful migration."
Fr. John Puodziunas, OFM, president of the English-speaking Conference of the Order of Friars Minor, emphasized the responsibility of Americans to advocate for a just immigration system.
“The issue of justice for those who seek safety, security, freedom, and the opportunity of a better life is at the core of our ministry as Franciscans in the United States,” he said. “The places they come from may have changed, and some of their circumstances may have changed with the times, but what we as a nation stand for is what the immigrants of today seek. It is imperative that our structures and systems respond in a just, legal, and welcoming way. It is American, it is Christian, it is Franciscan.”
You can read the full text of the letters below: