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Immigration

Basics

Immigration has been a powerful force throughout Texas history, from the time of the earliest Spanish settlers, to later white Americans, to the waves of Central Americans in the last decade. It continues to shape our economy and communities today. In 2013, 4.3 million immigrants were living in Texas, making up over 16 percent of our population and over 21 percent of our workforce.

Immigrants come to Texas from all over the world. While 71 percent come from Latin America, almost 20...

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Immigration has been a powerful force throughout Texas history, from the time of the earliest Spanish settlers, to later white Americans, to the waves of Central Americans in the last decade. It continues to shape our economy and communities today. In 2013, 4.3 million immigrants were living in Texas, making up over 16 percent of our population and over 21 percent of our workforce.

Immigrants come to Texas from all over the world. While 71 percent come from Latin America, almost 20 percent are from Asia; almost 4 percent are from Africa; over 4 percent are from Europe; and still others are from Canada, Greenland, or Oceania.

Immigration has become a highly politicized issue, and conversations on the topic can be difficult. But immigration has shaped our community—past and present—and it is important for people of faith to bring our values forward as part of the larger public conversation. With good information along with compassion, love, and respect, we can learn, pray, and take action together.

Immigration is an issue appropriately addressed at the federal level, and not by state legislatures. Nevertheless, our extended border with Mexico makes this issue one of great importance and consequence to Texans. Our interests in immigration are practical and focus on the health and safety of local communities. Employers need to be able to hire qualified workers. Schools need to be able to educate healthy students. Law enforcement officials need to be able to trust residents to report and discuss criminal activity when it occurs. Faith communities insist that all people in Texas be treated equally.

Local charitable organizations such as faith communities can be key players in helping to foster robust community- law enforcement partnerships, but should not be placed in a position of enforcing immigration law. Likewise, faith communities should not be prevented from offering humanitarian assistance to those in need.

 

Event Date: 
Sunday, January 29, 2017 - 12:00pm

As legislators prepare for a major hearing on anti-Sanctuary Cities legislation and the President issues multiple executive orders targeting immigrants, refugees, and asylees, more than 150 Bryan-College Station residents came together to learn about the issues and build local advocacy networks.

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On January 25, 2017, Retired Bishop Joel Martinez joined the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Mexican-American Legislative Caucus to speak out against new proposed immigration policies. You can watch the entire press conference on Youtube or embedded, below.


To learn about the humanitarian crisis on the border and how faith communities are responding, click here.

Why are some people suggesting that we expedite deportation of children from Central America?

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Event Date: 
Friday, October 23, 2015 - 2:30pm

In the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, all people, including non-citizens, in the United States are guaranteed the right to due process. Unaccompanied minors going through the immigration process interact with three departments: Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice.

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Event Date: 
Friday, October 23, 2015 - 2:15pm

The first migrants from across the Atlantic who came to what would become the United States of America were Western Europeans looking for economic prosperity and religious freedom, and Africans brought over in slavery.

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Event Date: 
Friday, October 23, 2015 - 2:15pm

The numbers of unaccompanied children crossing into the United States are down substantially from the summer of 2014. While it is not certain what the summer of 2015 will bring, there remain children from last summer’s influx who are living within our communities still in need of assistance and access to community resources. There are still families coming across and being welcomed by the border Welcome Centers like the one at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

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Event Date: 
Friday, October 23, 2015 - 2:15pm

The faith community has always played an important role in supporting people who come to the United States seeking protection. Refugee status and asylum are two types of legal protective statuses. Click on the following links for more information:

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