Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me

As the debate continues to rage over immigration in our country, and as it figures to only crescendo as Arizona nears its July 31st date for implementing its new law which makes illegal immigration a state crime, I thought it would be interesting to look at what the Bishops of Indiana have said on the issue.

Several years ago, the Bishops of Indiana, working together as a committee, issued a document entitled "I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me" which addresses the issue of immigration head on. It is very brief, and actually offers real proposals, unlike some of the Church documents we might be familiar with (this is not the fault of the other documents but because most Church documents are addressed to a much larger audience; "I Was a Stranger" is just addressed to the situation in Indiana).

The Bishops should be applauded for their bravery in taking the lead on this issue when many others are quiet. There are two controversial requests the Bishops make in their document
1) A plan which would allow illegal immigrants to earn legalization
2) A temporary worker program

The Bishops skirt further controversy by raising the following issues as issues which the Indiana General Assembly would do well to debate on (not telling them, directly, which way to land). Those issues are the following:
1) Driver's permits for illegal immigrants
2) Access to health care and education for the children of illegal immigrants
3) Emergency health care and equal treatment by protective services

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, I think you would do well to spend 5 minutes looking over the document. May God bless all people and may we truly become more the ONE Body of Christ this day.

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