Resolution on U.S. immigration policy adopted by the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors in Charleston, S.C., on April 9, 2006.
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WHEREAS, U.S. immigration policy has become an intensely debated and divisive issue on both sides of the border between the U.S. and Mexico; and
WHEREAS, Catholic bishops at the Synod for America in 1997 stressed the solidarity and the common destiny of all of the peoples of the Western Hemisphere; and
WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus is an international Catholic lay organization that has proudly included brother Knights in Mexico for more than a hundred years, and has thousands of members throughout the countries of Central America and the Caribbean; and
WHEREAS, we believe that legitimate concerns regarding sovereignty and the lawful and orderly control of cross-border travel must not be the only concerns addressed by a new immigration law; and
WHEREAS, in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), Pope Benedict XVI stresses the centrality of charity in the pursuit of justice, and charity – the product of Christian love – is the first principle of the Order; and
WHEREAS, the vast majority of undocumented Mexicans and other Latin Americans in the United States have come simply to try and build better lives for themselves and their families, but must struggle to do so from the shadows of American society; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus calls upon the President and the U.S. Congress to agree upon immigration legislation that not only gains control over the process of immigration, but also rejects any effort to criminalize those who provide humanitarian assistance to undocumented immigrants, and provides these immigrants an avenue by which they can emerge from the shadows of society and seek legal residency and citizenship in the U.S.