“Attention must be called to the rights of migrants and their families and to respect for their human dignity, even in cases of non-legal immigration.”

– Saint Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia in America

Every human person has the right to support themselves and their family.  But poverty, persecution, and disaster can make life impossible in one’s native land. For this reason, migration is a basic human right. Prosperous nations like our own should have generous immigration policies. The rights and dignity of migrants should be seriously considered when crafting policy. The fact that millions of people have entered our country illegally must be tempered by the reality that our immigration system is broken, and has failed to justly respond to the needs of those fleeing peril.

At the same time, however, nations have a right—and a duty—to regulate their borders. And immigrants also have duties to a country that receives them. “Open border” cosmopolitanism is not the goal. Rather, a just and well-regulated immigration system that prioritizes families and relief from suffering is. We must strive for a comprehensive reform to our broken immigration system, while taking commonsense measures to integrate immigrants already living among us into our communities.