Migration – Election 2024

As Catholics, caring for people on the move has always been an important aspect of how we live out our faith.

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The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2241

Love the stranger then, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 10:19


As Catholics, caring for people on the move has always been an important aspect of how we live out our faith. We recognise the innate worth of every person. We are therefore called to welcome, protect and integrate migrants and refugees. As the Bishops of England and Wales emphasised in The Common Good, published in 1996: “our neighbourhood is universal: so loving our neighbour has global dimensions.” We are also reminded that we are fortunate to live in a part of the world that is relatively rich and that we should not, if it can be avoided, exclude others from enjoying those riches through migration to our own country.

Of course, the Church recognises that countries have a right to control their own borders and it is legitimate to limit migration. However, as our own bishops have said in the document Love the Stranger: “The starting point for public policy should involve respecting a broad right to migrate and restricting it only when demonstrably necessary, rather than beginning with sealed borders and facilitating immigration only when desired.” When discussing migration, politicians should speak with compassion for those travelling to new lands and avoid inflammatory rhetoric.


Although we should not assume that there is a single correct way to manage migration, our immigration policy must have the person at the centre.

  • We should do more to establish safe and legal routes for migrants to come to the UK so that they do not have to put their lives at risk by travelling here by dangerous means.
  • We must treat migrants humanely when they arrive, ensuring that they have somewhere safe to live and adequate resources on which to live.
  • Migrants should be allowed to work as soon as is practical and should not be detained for substantial periods.
  • Language should be inclusive. We must positively welcome migrants and not create a climate of hostility. We should treat all who arrive here with the same dignity and compassion that we would offer to any other member of society. We should also celebrate the contribution that migrants make to enriching our cultural and economic life.

What are your candidate’s views?

You may want to consider these questions when speaking to candidates seeking election.

  • What are their views on the establishment of more safe and legal routes for migrants?
  • How will they work to promote policies that ensure that migrants are safe, have somewhere appropriate to live, have adequate resources and can contribute to the community and their family’s upkeep through work as soon as is practical?
  • Do they reject inflammatory language, and promote a climate of welcome and compassion?
  • Do they support policies that help faith communities and civil society groups maintain and expand the assistance given to migrants?


Love the Stranger by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. You can read / download below.

Fratelli Tutti is an encyclical letter of Pope Francis on fraternity and social friendship. You can read / download below.

Bishop Paul McAleenan, lead bishop for migrants and refugees, on welcoming refugees as an act of justice. Read here.

Bishop Paul McAleenan speaks about Love the Stranger – A Catholic response to migrants and refugees.


The image is a section of the ‘Angels Unawares’ bronze sculpture by Timothy Schmalz that was installed in St Peter’s Square, Vatican, on 29 September 2019 – the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.