The Pope and Immigration Policy

Pope Francis is one of the most revered figures in the world. No one can doubt his compassion for the poor and the suffering around the world. When he addresses a joint session of Congress on Thursday, he is expected to pressure lawmakers to “open America’s doors to struggling immigrants rather than build bigger fences to keep them out,” according to USA Today.


Here are a number of things that need to be kept in mind as we listen to the pope address immigration policy:

  • The pope views immigration solely from the perspective of the immigrants. Obviously, no one migrates unless it is substantially in their interest to do so. Thus, if you view immigration from their perspective it is always positive. The reason every nation on earth has immigration laws is because they recognize that what is in the interests of people seeking to settle in another country is not always in the interests of people in the receiving country. In fact, the people who are harmed the most in the receiving countries are those who are already struggling – precisely the sort of people the pope most identifies with.
  • However sincerely Pope Francis’s views are motivated by a sense of charity, the policies he advocates for are well-meaning but misguided. Mass immigration costs many Americans jobs, wages, access to quality education for their children and other vital public services. There is no moral or ethical system in the world that allows individuals or institutions to be charitable with other people’s resources. While the United States has an obligation to assist those in need around the world, that assistance should not come on the backs of millions of Americans who are struggling to meet the vital needs of their own families.
  • Francis, as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church and the first Latin American pope, can play an influential role in bringing about badly needed political, social and economic reforms in countries from which large numbers of people feel the need to emigrate. The role of Congress is to safeguard the essential interests of the American people in immigration and other policies.

Americans share Francis’s compassion for people around the world and believe our country should play a constructive role in helping them. However, mass migration cannot solve the problems of people around the world; it can only serve to undermine the interests of the American people.

About Author


Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    An excellent point was made by “No Change” on 9/25/15 at 3:38am. Yes, the very rich in the U.S. also make life difficult for the poor, to a certain extent. BUT

    1)__The U.S is not sending its poor across the border to demand “rights” and benefits there.
    2)__U.S. elites and third-world elites together stand on the backs of struggling American taxpayers.
    3)__ Yes, I do read. A lot. I know that this Pople clashed with Cristina Fernandez de Kerchner, President of Argentina since 2007, on contraception. (The Pope is from there). He made an off-the-cuff remark a few months ago about not “breeding like rabbits.” Very irresponsible as an approach to this issue.
    — If he has some reasonable form of contraception, why hasn’t he put it forth in a big way? Oh, right, it’s not as important to him as beating us up for not taking in more third-world people, when much of their misery is due to overpopulation, in large part, due to Catholic teaching on contraception. His great contraception plan, if he had one, would have been front-page news and studied by world population experts. Telling people to not “breed like rabbits” is not a great plan.
    — Even if his great plan, whatever it was, had been implemented in much of the world since 2007, it’s not enough time for a significant reduction in world population. Where is his apology to first-world countries that we’ll need to keep paying the price of Catholic church folly for at least decades to come?

    • avatar

      Here is a fact that they do not bring up;
      When is ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We can not save the world nor should we. Look at all the people leaving Syria and no one fights. Our forefathers had to fight and so have we. If they are not willing to fight for their homeland we damn sure do not need them here to just take up space and resources tax payers have to pay for.

  2. avatar

    The Pope is very good at spending everyone’s money except his Countries wealth. If he were a leader he would open the vaults in Vatican City and other select locations and financially support his favorite charities

    • avatar

      If the Pope wants a poor Church, I have a suggestion. Bring in an army of expert appraisers and have them pore over every rare book, every scripture, scroll, artifact, piece of furniture, painting, sculpture, jewel, gold coin—every possession of the Vatican, including its lands and buildings—in order to see what price the whole collection might bring at the largest auction ever held on the planet.

      Then sell it all. Take the cash and feed and house the poor.

      I’m sure that with a little digging, I could find the names of some competent private investigation agencies and forward their names to His Holiness. He could task them with locating and hunting down every pedophile priest on or off the Church books and turning them over for secular prosecution.

      That would clear up a few things, too.

  3. avatar

    He could rollback the automatic excommunication for any catholic mother who has an abortion. Kind of harsh I would say. Plus it doesn’t help stabilize population growth.

    • avatar

      KURT I would suggest you read the POPES” latest pronouncement on abortion .He has given his priests permission to forgive the mother ,who aborted intentionally .So I guess you have gotten what you requested..I realize the POPE speaks for the poor but credit should be given to the industrialized nations for reducing global poverty> ;In 1980; 62% of the global population lived at or under the poverty level by the year 2000 that figure had dropped to 17% credit is due.As for his thought on immigration his real feeling is that there should be no borders after all his church and its’ congregants are global..he is a Holy man but his view of the world I fear was shaped in his youth in Argentina by the Peronista socialist movement which took a rich country like Argentina from being ranked 5THn in the world in wealth to the present South American basket case.—–Kof C life member

      • avatar

        I don’t know what standard you are using to define poverty, but something to keep in mind regarding the issue of overpopulation is that most people in the world still do not have the standard of living of most people living in the US that the US government defines as poor. For example, 750 million people – about 1 in 9 – lack access to safe water. More than twice that many, 2.5 billion people – about 1 in 3 – don’t have access to improved sanitation. 1 billion still practice open defecation. Around one in seven people across the globe still live without electricity, about 1.1 billion. And this is just the bottom of the barrel of the world’s poor.

        • avatar

          Well, SecBorders this would be a great start:if the Pope wants a poor Church, I have a suggestion. Bring in an army of expert appraisers and have them pore over every rare book, every scripture, scroll, artifact, piece of furniture, painting, sculpture, jewel, gold coin—every possession of the Vatican, including its lands and buildings—in order to see what price the whole collection might bring at the largest auction ever held on the planet.

          Then sell it all. Take the cash and feed and house the poor.

  4. avatar

    I would like the Pope to answer the question “How many should we take in?”. The Vatican brought in a couple of families, period. I would like him to say that the Catholic Church will give back the gold it stole from the Americas to support these “genuinely oppressed refugees”.

    The best policy is for the church to encourage birth control. The rhythm method is acceptable to the church so why not birth control pills?

    Why is it that America and Europe have to bare the brunt of failed tribal societies in Africa and the Middle East when those problems could have been alleviated by limiting the sizes of the families? It is nice that the Pope wants to induce suffering on the American and European peoples because these tribal societies do not have the testosterone to fight for their own countries. Of course once they get in western countries they have an abundance of testosterone to commit rape. Sweden has experienced a huge increase in rape since bringing in these muslim invaders. The muslim culture and religion is not compatible with civilized western society.

  5. avatar

    As far as I am concerne, the only thing the Pope should have addressed is Planned Parenthood and the videos dissecting live babies.

    He had no business speaking of Global Warming or American hmmigration.

    • avatar

      In my opinion, a person can be for abortion being either legal or illegal and still be against the mass illegal and legal immigration we have now and the resulting massive population growth. A person can be also be for the use of birth control to halt the global population explosion without the use of abortion if they believe it is murder. It seems like a lot of people who think abortion is murder also seem to think they have to believe that overpopulation is not a problem, but no one is suggesting we kill people already alive to reduce overpopulation, just that we need to reduce the global birth rate.

    • avatar

      Yes. I agree! The issues were not for a foreigner to come in and dictate policy to the people here. Yes! There are Catholics here, but they are not here to be dictated to by someone from the ‘Vatican’ nation. If they choose to abide by any of his rules, it is their privilege as ‘free Americans’ to do so. We are a God fearing nation; not a Vatican fearing nation. God bless America!

  6. avatar

    Here is a link to an article in The Economist magazine from 2012 about the Catholic Church’s financial management.

    If the Pope wants to help the poor more, he can clean up the Church’s terrible mismanagement of its finances as well as tell poor people it is irresponsible to have children if they are poor and to use birth control. The Pope acts self-righteous about how we are supposed to accept all these illegal aliens, but he does not mention how much the Vatican will benefit from the US accepting the burden of taking in all of these people.

    Over half of the Vatican’s money comes from the US, so if a Catholic moves from an underdeveloped country to the US, their income level will increase and they will have more money to donate to the Catholic Church even if they are still poor by US standards. And why does he want Europe flooded with Muslims? How well is the Catholic Church tolerated in most majority Muslim countries?

    From the article:

    –“….the finances of the Catholic church in America are an unholy mess…. the financial mismanagement and questionable business practices would have seen widespread resignations at the top of any other public institution.”

    –“The church is the largest single charitable organization in the country. Catholic Charities USA, its main charity, and its subsidiaries employ over 65,000 paid staff and serve over 10m people. These organizations distributed $4.7 billion to the poor in 2010, of which 62% came from local, state and federal government agencies.”

    –“The American church may account for as much as 60% of the global institution’s wealth. Little surprise, then, that it is the biggest contributor to head office (ahead of Germany, Italy and France). Everything from renovations to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome to the Pontifical Gregorian University, the church’s version of West Point, is largely paid for with American money.”

    –“Only three countries—Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines—have larger Catholic populations than America, and nowhere has a larger Catholic minority.”

    • avatar

      Also, the only way the world will solve global poverty is through halting the global population explosion. During the 20th century alone, the population in the world grew from 1.65 billion to 6 billion. In 1970, there were roughly half as many people in the world as there are now. There are now over 7 billion people in the world. According to the most recent United Nations estimates, the human population of the world is expected to reach 8 billion people in the spring of 2024, less than 10 years away. How are we going to solve the issue of global poverty when the planet is adding this many people so quickly?

      • avatar

        The Philippines had 8 million people in 1900. Now they have over 100 million. There is no way that country, which is largely water, can support that number. There is a huge slum in Manila where families make a “living”, if you can call it that, by picking through garbage for things to sell. If they had a quarter of their present population it’s likely that most people could make their living by the traditional methods of farming and fishing.

        But I guess the church would rather have people living in garbage dumps. While they lecture us at the same time. My mother was Catholic, and we were raised that way, but my three siblings and myself belong to no religion. The church in this country is slowly going the way of the dinosaur, so they want all those people from the third world Catholic countries. As you say, we pay the costs for them raising their large families through welfare.

  7. avatar

    In my previous post, I was referring to the White House guest list, which included the Pope and an openly gay Episcopal bishop.

  8. avatar

    Although the Pope is wrong on the vital issue of contraception, it’s good to see some tolerance to the LGBT community. At least that’s some real progress for the Catholic church.

    Yet, I don’t remember reading how Muslims reacted to LGBT guests at the White House for the Iftar dinner Obama hosted for Ramadan in June. Oh, let’s see – maybe there weren’t any LGBT guests at that dinner?

    • avatar

      Cici either you are right and not an American or WRONG and an American ….THe Pope can say whatever he wants and however he sees it as per the Catholic Church…..from there to the US gov doing anything else…..there is something call the separation of church and state… some reading……

      • avatar

        Then how come you don’t recognize “separation of church and state”? Why is he standing if front of Congress and telling us what we should and shouldn’t do

        • avatar

          I personally think the timing of his visit was all planned think about it elections coming up his giving his opinions on things that are political government plot

          • avatar

            Yes, Joanne. I’ve been saying this for months. He’s given his views on things that make him wildly popular – evolution, gay rights, marriage for priests, equal pay for women. People are saying, “This guy is for change.” I’ve been more realistic as:

            1) Change in the Catholic church is slow.
            2) Even if change on certain issues doesn’t happen, he looks like the kind-hearted pope going up against mean-spirited cardinals.
            3) His views on these issues soften up Americans for the same old message – how supposedly selfish we are for not taking in everyone who wants to be here. (No matter that we take in more immigrants than any other country.)

            He doesn’t address real issues:
            1) Very wealthy third-world people who want their poor to come here for free health care, education, food stamps, etc paid for by U.S. taxpayers, and remittances – money they send home to pump into the economies there.
            2) Those wealthy don’t provide jobs for their poor at home for that reason.
            3) A big thing keeping the poor poor there is overpopulation, with the church’s position against “artificial” contraception a major issue.

          • avatar

            Cici do you ever travel, read books etc…it is pathetic your poor judgment on the Pope……..what happens int 3rd world countries…it also happens here……you are pointless and clueless

        • avatar

          Leland you forgot we live in the US…..because of FREEDOM and he is the Pope……………from there to Congress listening there is a big difference/////that is why……

      • avatar

        Sorry about any confusion. I was referring to third-world countries where overpopulation is way way out of control. In many places, it’s because people believe the Catholic church’s teaching that “artificial” birth control will send them to hell.

  9. avatar

    There’s a report in the Washington Post that many of Syrian “refugees” in Europe are from many other countries, including lots from outside the middle east. Which is why this blanket asylum is a farce.

    • avatar

      Just like all immigrants, they are scam artists. I worked with an African immigrant or so he said. He was a Hindu from India that settled in African for the required minimum number of years so that he could emigrate to America as an “African”. Whenever a new H1-B worker would start work the entire departments H1-B would greet them and they would compare notes on how to beat the system. I always enjoyed listening to them tell me how stupid Americans are. Never once have I ever heard from any immigrant or foreigner any words of thanks for the tens of thousands of Americans who died for their sorry soulless carcasses.

    • avatar

      I am sure you did to even know that a Congressman or woman does not have to be born here………………..average age 30 or so usually a law degree…on and on……

      • avatar

        well SW you are out of touch with our have not realized about that?……saying citizens is the Super set……….Congress is a subset…..I think you learn this in discrete mathematics….correct?….then if you use “Citizens” that means The People……not just Congress………

        So if you just say citizens then it makes you look dumb……we already know that……………….get it?