Immigrants Seek Church Help in France

Illegal immigrants who occupied the Vatican’s embassy in Paris have called on the church to support their struggle for better treatment. “We’ve asked moral and spiritual authorities, firstly the Vatican, to call the French government to greater humanity,” said the Collective Sans-Papiers, or “Undocu-mented Collective,” in a statement released on Jan. 2. Between 40 and 70 mostly African undocumented migrants took over the embassy on Dec. 31, unfurling a banner with the slogan “Jesus defended the stranger,” in support of a hunger-strike by other undocumented people outside the Catholic cathedral in Lille. The statement said the nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, had agreed to pass along the protesters’ demand for a meeting with France’s interior minister, Manuel Valls. On Nov. 28, a new Interior Ministry directive said immigrants must submit pay stubs as a condition for regularizing their status. In its statement, Collective Sans-Papiers said the November directive had imposed an “impossible condition” for most undocumented people and “condemned them to a desperate situation.”

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

“My folks taught us that if someone is hungry, you feed them. That if someone is thirsty, you give them drink. If someone is a stranger you welcome them into your home.”
Michael O'LoughlinFebruary 27, 2017
Almost all major cities in the United States have experienced major decreases in violent crime over the past 25 years.
James T. KeaneFebruary 24, 2017
This is not a country at ease with itself, if it ever were. The United Kingdom continues to display more and more intolerance and anger.
David StewartFebruary 24, 2017

On St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrate our Irish heritage and our good fortune to be Americans.

George J. MitchellFebruary 24, 2017