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In Support of an Equitable Immigration Policy

      WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus is an international lay Catholic organization with members and councils in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, France and South Korea; and

      WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus was founded by immigrants and sons of immigrants in the late 19th century during a time of fierce nativist resistance to the arrival and presence of Catholic immigrants in the United States; and

      WHEREAS, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin”; and

      WHEREAS, Catholic social teaching allows for nations to enforce reasonable limits on immigration and that “political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption”; and

      WHEREAS, the Catechism states that immigrants “are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws, and to assist in carrying civic burdens”; and

      WHEREAS, in June 2018, His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, speaking as President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, reiterated concerns of the U.S. Bishops regarding the migration of families into the United States saying, “Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety”; and

      WHEREAS, in his Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis has stated that the proper attitude toward immigrants is to “stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children”; and

      WHEREAS, on the occasion of the 2018 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, the Holy Father reminded us that those who immigrate to a new country should “know and respect the laws, the culture and the traditions of the countries that take them in,” and that those communities receiving migrants should “understand the hopes and potential of the newly arrived as well as their fears and vulnerabilities.”

      NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that as Catholics and as Knights of Columbus we will always be guided by our principle of charity in efforts to respond both humanely and equitably in matters concerning immigration policy; and

      FURTHER RESOLVED, that we reiterate the call of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that immigration to the United States can remain secure without policy that would require the separation of loving parents from their children; and

      FURTHER RESOLVED, that we reaffirm our commitment to the principles of Catholic social teaching that immigration policy should equitably balance the legitimate rights of persons to emigrate in order to seek better lives for themselves and their children, with the duty of governments to control migration into their countries so that immigration policy serves the common good.