To: Senate Industry, Business, and Labor Committee
From: Christopher T. Dodson, Executive Director
Subject: Senate Concurrent Resolution 4003
Date: January 13, 2009

As a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, the North Dakota Catholic Conference supports Senate Concurrent Resolution 4003 with the hope that it becomes a vehicle to call for an immigration policy that humanely secures our borders, protects workers and employers, respects families, and recognizes the needs of businesses to have a stable and legal supply of workers.

For several years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have strongly supported comprehensive immigration reform. This involvement stems from reflections on Sacred Scripture, the church’s own immigrant experience, and from being one of the largest nonprofit providers of services to migrants in the United States. At the heart of the church’s position on migration is that a comprehensive immigration policy must have a human face.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 4003, in its present form, conveys some truths. The current immigration system is broke and does not meet the needs of businesses to have a stable and legal supply of workers. Comprehensive and well-balanced reform, however, concerns more than immediate economic needs. A new immigration policy should, in addition to helping North Dakota’s businesses, humanely secure our borders, protect workers and employers, and respect families.

With that in mind, the North Dakota Catholic Conference urges the committee to amend the resolution to incorporate these principles. Such changes would be minor and would not take away anything from the original resolution. They would, however, add the important human element that is an essential component of any successful comprehensive immigration policy.