February 14, 2017
It is not an overstatement to say that the majority of Americans are descendants of immigrants or refugees. Indeed, many of our fellow citizens were once immigrants. The story of the United States is a tale of welcome and of new hope. Whether for those from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, or the Americas, this nation has been a bright-burning beacon and an invitation to a better life in which the gifts of God can be widely shared. Today is no different.
Writing in response to recent developments, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, and Chair of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Migration stated: "We respect the rule of law and the American judicial process. We remain steadfast in our commitment to resettling refugees and all those fleeing persecution. At this time, we remain particularly dedicated to ensuring that affected refugee and immigrant families are not separated and continue to welcome the newcomer as it is a vital part of our Catholic faith and an enduring element of our American values and tradition."
San Jose and the greater Bay Area have historically welcomed various waves of refugees, and the Church has been a willing partner in many of these efforts. This should not change. We recommit ourselves to this form of living out of the Gospel, the teaching of the Lord Jesus to welcome the stranger, for in doing so, we welcome the Lord Himself.
With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,
Patrick J. McGrath