Press Release

Bishop Ricken Releases Statement on Immigration and Family Separation

Diocese of Green Bay 150th Anniversary LogoGREEN BAY, Wis. (June 21, 2018) -- Below is a statement from Bishop David L. Ricken regarding immigration and family separation on the U.S./Mexico border:

Like many of you, I have followed the news of what is happening on our border to parents and children, and I have prayerfully reflected on how to respond to this issue.

I am pleased to see that the president has taken steps to end the practice of family separation at our borders. However, this decision addresses the symptoms, not the problem. We must acknowledge that the current situation is the result of years of haphazard policy on immigration. The bishops of the United States have consistently called for comprehensive immigration reform based on the following principles:

  1. Persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland.
  2. Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families.
  3. Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders.
  4. Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection.
  5. The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be protected.

Even with this new executive order, our immigration policy still does not reflect these principles.

For this reason, today I call on Catholics and people of good will to reach out to their political leaders in Congress and the administration to work towards comprehensive immigration reform based on these principles. This will require people to put aside their own political agendas and find policies that affirm the dignity of all human beings. Doing so is the only way we can avoid situations like this in the future.

In addition, I encourage all of us to pray for migrant families, especially those who leave their homes due to violence or persecution. Pray, too, for our political leaders that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit to, once and for all, enact comprehensive immigration reform.

May the peace of Christ transform each of us to more fully respect the dignity of all human beings!


Who We Are

As friends and followers of Jesus, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is devoted to fostering households and communities of discipleship through the mission and ministry of the Catholic Church. We are missionary disciples striving to lead all people to the Kingdom of God. Established in 1868, the diocese is composed of 324,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.


Justine Lodl
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Sarah Bradford
Communications Coordinator
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