Welcoming the Stranger:

The Refugee Policy and Our Catholic Response

What is to be our response in welcoming the stranger and those in flight? The Lord Jesus himself fled the tyranny of Herod, was falsely accused, and then deserted by his friends. It is written: “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58)

In light of recent changes to our immigration and refugee programs in the United States, it is especially important for us as Catholics to be informed by our faith and to stand united as brothers and sisters in Christ. For those who desire guidance and clarity on issues involving migrants and refugees, this is a page that aims to provide information on Catholic teaching as well as the position of our Catholic Church leaders in the United States. We also offer information for migrants and refugees who wish to become more informed and prepared in the event of an enforcement action. For those who feel called to act on these issues, this page also lists involvement opportunities through discussion, prayer, and advocacy.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

Approximately 800,000 youth have received protection from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program since its inception by the Department of Homeland Security in 2012. While DACA provides no legal status, it does provide recipients with a temporary reprieve from deportation and employment authorization for legal work opportunities in the United States.

As Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “These youth entered the U.S. as minors and often know America as their only home. The Catholic Church has long watched with pride and admiration as DACA youth live out their daily lives with hope and determination to flourish and contribute to society: continuing to work and provide for their families, continuing to serve in the military, and continuing to receive an education. Now, after months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these brave young people face deportation.” 

For Migrants and Refugees:

Know Your Rights

In response to reports of ICE enforcement and apprehension in certain cities in the U.S. over last weekend, the USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants campaign has created the following Know Your Rights resource (English and Spanish available below). Some additional resources on how to prepare for an encounter with immigration enforcement officers can be found by clicking the links below:

Preparation and Protection: Nine Ways to Protect Yourself

Source: Justice for Immigrants. PDF reader required.

Know Your Rights: A Collection of Resources

Source: Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.