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2007 Bernardin Conference
The Migration of Peoples and Immigration Policy

11th Annual Conference   |  March 9-11, 2007  |  Jacksonville, Florida

Conference Description:

As congress works to develop new immigration policies, heated and often acrimonious debates have dominated much of our public discourse. While the bishops of the United States have spoken clearly and with one voice on this issue in Welcoming the Stranger Among Us (2000) and have joined with the bishops of Mexico in writing Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope (2002), Catholics are involved on all sides of the public debate. Many corporate and government leaders as well as many of the poorest undocumented migrants are Catholics. As a church, we experience all of the divisions that we find in our society.

Therefore, the chosen topic for the 2007 conference was "The Migration of Peoples and Immigration Policy."  The complex issues of immigration policy were explored with honesty, with participants listening carefully to those who held differing opinions. 

After an opening presentation laying out the multi-faceted dimensions of this issue, a more in-depth exploration and discussion was taken up on the following topcs:  the global vs. national perspectives on the common good with respect to immigration, business and union perspectives, the role of law and legality with regard to immigration, and diocesan and parish tensions. Speakers presented their position on each of these areas and then engaged the group in dialogue on the topic. 

Conference Goals:

  • To directly and respectfully engage different positions about immigration
  • To grow in understanding the complexity of the issues
  • To strengthen relationships within the church community by our worship, dialogue, and social interaction
  • To publish a book that will be useful for student groups in colleges and universities or for adult groups in parishes who wish to understand these issues.

Readings and Resources:

Church Teaching

Statistical Information

from Pew Research and the Pew Hispanic Center