Editor’s Note: On April 6, Iowa’s Catholic bishops — Archbishop Michael Jackels, Dubuque Archdiocese; Bishop Thomas Zinkula, Davenport Diocese; Bishop R. Walker Nickless, Sioux City Diocese; and Bishop Richard Pates, Des Moines Diocese, issued the following statement on Senate File 481, an immigration enforcement bill. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the bill on April 10 after The Catholic Messenger went to press.
We, the Catholic Bishops of Iowa, have voiced principled opposition to Senate File 481 and are profoundly disappointed that it was passed by the Legislature. We ask Governor Reynolds to do the right thing and veto the bill. This is the right thing to do, because Iowans should be looking to help immigrants, not to harass them.
In remarks she made in Sigourney earlier this month, Senator Ernst gave good reasons to support immigrants: “States like Iowa, we’re not really growing. We have a very elderly population. So how do we find a way to bring in good workers into the State of Iowa and have children … in our school systems.”
Our energy, therefore, should be directed toward finding a solution so that immigrants are welcome here, and as a consequence, strengthen our communities with their families, enrich our social fabric by their faith and their cultural heritage, and provide a good and stable workforce.
As we move forward, we Christians are bolstered by the hope of Christ this Easter season. It is He who taught: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. I was … a stranger and you welcomed me …”
The Good Samaritan presents a wonderful model of a disciple of Christ. He alone stops to minister to the stranger in urgent need along the wayside.