The Catholic Church in the United States has long supported reform to our immigration laws that reflect the reality of migration in the world today and respect the dignity of those migrating. Most immigrants are simply looking for an opportunity to support their families or are fleeing from violence and persecution. The Catholic Church does not encourage illegal immigration. Illegal immigration leaves countless people whose labor is essential to us in the shadows in a second class status. Our current laws provide them with no workable path towards legalizing their status. It leaves them vulnerable to exploitation as they are not able to stand up for themselves when treated unjustly. Many are victims of wage theft: either not paid at all or underpaid what they are promised. Many are exploited through trafficking.
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