“The Church hears the suffering cry of all who are uprooted from their own land, of families forcefully separated, of those who, in the rapid changes of our day, are unable to find a stable home anywhere. She senses the anguish of those without rights, without any security, at the mercy of every kind of exploitation,
and she supports them in their unhappiness.”
– Saint John Paul II, Message for World Migration Day (2000)
Migration is the process of moving from one country, region, or place to another. It concerns issues of emigration, asylum, economic migration, and undocumented or irregular immigration. It also includes the trafficking of persons (human trafficking) for forced labor or sexual exploitation.
Catholic teaching on migration issues is rooted in Jesus Christ’s teaching that every human person is created in God’s image and has God-given dignity and rights.
The human right to life, the foundation of every other right, implies the right to migrate. In other words, if you are unable to secure basic human necessities where you are, you must be free to seek them out. This right isn’t absolute. Migrant people must also respect and abide by the laws and traditions of the countries in which they reside.
We support legislation and grassroots programs that address the underlying issues of migration and reject all measures and legislation that are opposed to fundamental human dignity.