For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.
You shall have but one rule, for alien and native-born alike. I, the LORD, am your God.
1 John 3:18
Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.
Rocío is a 33-year-old Dreamer from Omaha, Nebraska. At the age of 6, Rocío and her family fled the gang-infested city of Guerrero, Mexico for the safety of the United States.
Rocío grew up in the United States, alternating between perfect English and perfect Spanish, going to the movies with friends, and working hard to obtain an education. Despite this, being undocumented kept Rocío from feeling like she truly belonged. Rocío realized what a difficult road lay ahead of her after she graduated from college. Rocío did what she always did in times of uncertainty, she prayed. “God, please give me an opportunity to stay here. Please.”
It was shortly afterwards that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, was created. Rocío heard the news and rejoiced, saying, “Lord, thank you!”
The DACA program – and the work permit it provided for her – enabled Rocío to buy a home, and start a business with her husband. As a financial coach at Catholic Charities, Rocío teaches classes in micro business and financial education for other immigrants.
Unfortunately, the future of the DACA program is uncertain and Rocio’s status may expire soon. She now feels as though she lives “on a trap door,” and she’s about to have the lifelines that keep her family stable dropped out from under her.
- The Catholic Church has advocated for the rights of migrants and refugees for centuries. Despite being a priority, migration issues are not always linked to other well-known Catholic concerns. Which themes of Catholic social teaching help connect immigration with other social justice topics, such as pro-life activism?
- Catholic social teaching promotes the unity of the family, as well as the dignity of work and the rights of workers. How does the current immigration system in the United States hurt families? What is the role of family in Rocío’s story? What challenges as a worker does Rocío face without DACA?
God, we come together inspired by Catholic social teaching and your Gospel message. We want to be in solidarity with our immigrant sisters and brothers. We know that violence and climate change hurt the poor first, causing many to flee their countries. We yearn for immigration policies that promote human dignity. Guide our words and our actions as we advocate for immigrant rights. Amen.
Call to Action
Sign up for CLINIC’s Parish and Community Resources e-mail to receive resources rooted in Catholic social teaching that will help you engage your community on immigration issues.
Learn more about the Church’s stance on immigration by reading through this collection of papal, conciliar, and other official documents.
Share Catholic social teaching themes with your community by distributing this flyer.
Apply your lessons on Catholic social teaching and migration by using this discernment guide to organize opportunities for encounter.