Pope: Migration Laws Must Respect Sovereignty and Human Rights

Vatican City, May 28, 2010 / 02:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI told members of the Vatican department for migrants today that those they serve have rights based solely on the fact that they are human beings. He encouraged international cooperation and a sense of co-responsibility between states and private organizations in finding solutions to migration that simultaneously respect national sovereignty and the rights of the individual.


Praise God for Pope Benedict XVI. He exhibits the love of Jesus and the Christian principles we all value. It is indeed possible to solve the immigration issue while showing love and respect for every human person. Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand.

The significant part of the pope’s comments was this:

It is in “reconciling recognition for the rights of the individual with the principle of national sovereignty, making specific reference to the needs of security, public order, and the control of borders,” that cooperating states and organizations can contribute, he explained.

Just so. The difficulty is in reconciling competing rights, those of the individual immigrant and those of the State into which he wishes to migrate. There was nothing in his comments that suggests support or opposition to any specific approach, only that governments must take seriously the rights of the individual in forming the laws governing immigration. It should be obvious that citizens are free to choose their own positions within those parameters. This is why it is incorrect to claim that there is a “Church position” on immigration. Beyond “recognize the rights of immigrants”, there isn’t.


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