UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS Message of Pope John Paul II for World Migration Day, 1996

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

  1. The phenomenon of migration with its complex problems challenges the international community and individual States today more than ever. The latter generally tend to intervene by tightening migration laws and reinforcing border control systems. Thus migration loses that dimension of economic, social and cultural development which it had in the past. In fact, there is less and less talk of the situation of “emigrants” in their countries of origin, and more and more of “immigrants”, with respect to the problems they create in the countries where they settle.

Migration is assuming the features of a social emergency, above all because of the increase in illegal migrants which, despite the current restrictions, it seems impossible to halt. Illegal immigration has always existed: it has frequently been tolerated because it promotes a reserve of personnel to draw on as legal migrants gradually move up the social ladder and find stable employment. continued in link –

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