The USCCB has released the following updated positions:

Immigration Reform

Position: The Catholic Bishops and the Church support humane immigration reform. We must reform our broken system that separates families and impedes due process.

Facts:

  • Since 2010, 3.6 million immigrants have become naturalized US citizens.
  • Unauthorized immigrants also pay a wide range of taxes, including sales taxes where applicable and property taxes – directly if they own and indirectly if they rent. Estimates state that unauthorized migrants pay an estimated 11.64 billion dollars every year in state and local taxes.
  • It can take upwards of a decade for legal permanent residents to reunify with immediate family members from Mexico, the Philippines, and other countries. (Congressional Research Service)

Refugee Protection

Position: USCCB is the largest private refugee resettlement agency in the United States, helping to resettle more than one million refugees in the United States since 1975.

Facts:

  • The top five populations resettled during Fiscal Year (FY) Y2015: Congo, Syria, Burma, Iraq, and Somalia.
  • 12,000 Syrian refugees resettled in the United States since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. (Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration)
  • According to the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 66 million persons were displaced in the world at the end of 2015. (UNHCR)

Unaccompanied Children and Families from Central America

Position: Unaccompanied children arrive at our borders without their parent or legal guardian with them. In recent years, many of these children were from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Most are fleeing grave violence, gang recruitment and are seeking to reunify with family in the United States.

Facts:

  • In FY 2015, Mexico deported 165,000 Central Americans. The number detained in Mexico has tripled in the past four years amid growing pressure and economic support from the US to stem the flow. (The Guardian)
  • 73% of unaccompanied children who had legal representation won their immigration case in the United States, compared to 15% who were unrepresented. (American Bar Association)
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