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Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

Volume 28, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2008

Ana T. Bedard
Pages 117-140
DOI: 10.5840/jsce20082827

Us versus Them?
U.S. Immigration and the Common Good

THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS ON IMMIGRATION HAVE LARGELY FOCUSED ON mandates to love the stranger and protect human rights. The U.S. and Mexican bishops' pastoral letter "Strangers No Longer" is no different. However, this ethical focus leaves Christians without sufficient theological guidance when seeking to balance concern for immigrants and U.S. citizens alike. This essay examines undocumented immigration to the United States through the lens of the common good, using a contemporary Catholic feminist understanding of the common good. It examines the impact of immigration on this country and makes policy recommendations that are consistent with the common good. Many of the recommendations are consonant with the bishops' recommendations, but one important recommendation missed by the bishops is that efforts to promote a liberal immigration policy must be accompanied by efforts to promote just wages and working conditions for all low-wage U.S. workers.

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