Back in 2004, the United States Conference for Catholic Bishops’ (USCC) Committee on Migration and The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, INC. (CLINIC) Board of Directors decided to make U.S. immigration reform support part of church policy. That support placed emphasis on the legalization of immigrants living in the country. Since then other Catholic organizations in the U.S. have come forward showing support.
The USCC’s objectives focus on creating “political will for positive immigration reform; to enact legislative and administrative reforms based on the principles articulated by the bishops; and to organize Catholic networks to assist qualified immigrants obtain the benefits of the reforms.”
Low income homes and a lack of security that cause families to leave their homes are issues the USCC believes should be addressed. Rather than ignore the cause of illegal immigration, they hope to begin chipping away at it. As solving poverty is a large undertaking, the USCC continues to support immigration reform in the here and now.
This show of support has never been as visible as it was last month when Notre Dame announced it would enroll immigrants with an illegal status who meet undergraduate admissions standards.
“We will strengthen our incoming class and give deserving young people the chance for a Notre Dame education,” Don Bishop, associate vice president for undergraduate enrollment, said in a statement.
The University plans to help subsidize tuition costs for students with an illegal status, as those students are unable to collect federal aid. Notre Dame officially never banned illegal residents from attending the University. Students were required to have a visa, which essentially acted as a filter, the Washington Times reported.
The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) has since outlined a plan in support of immigration reforms. It asks members to call local congressional representatives and express a desire for reform.
It seems the Catholic Church has made a tandem effort to change the current policies in the U.S., reflecting the changes many Americans hope to see.