The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday added to the nearly $3 million the church has invested in the past year on immigration reform efforts, saying they sense a political opening on a topic that’s long been a concern for a strongly immigrant faith.
The organization of U.S. Catholic bishops said it would make $800,000 in grants available for projects aimed at mobilizing regular Catholics to push for the bishops’ immigration platform That includes family reunification, a path to citizenship and addressing the root causes of immigration, among other things.
The bishops’ anti-poverty program in the past year has invested more than $3.5 million in grass-roots immigration reform.
For a decade, the bishops have had a clear policy on immigration, called “Strangers No Longer.” In addition to being part of general church teaching, support for newcomers matches the demographics of a U.S. church built by immigrants. Even today, half of Americans born abroad are Catholic.