Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2009

Abstract

In this essay, I will consider how law, religion, and democratic pluralism revolve around a particular issue: global migration. I use the term "global migration" to encompass a number of related issues that are often collapsed under the term "immigration." In nations that have constructed their identities around waves of settlers or migrants-places like the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand-immigration involves the formal reception of foreigners into the host country as potential new citizens.' This is just one part of the migration of peoples around the globe. Migration also encompasses emigration, asylum, economic migration, and undocumented or irregular immigration. This larger collection of human movements presents new challenges to democratic nations in a global environment in which most have explicitly committed themselves to certain fundamental, democratic values and human rights norms. Furthermore, these same values relate closely to core notions of Christianity. Catholic social teaching is a tradition within Christianity that emphasizes the dignity of the human person and, as such, complements and supports key liberal values essential to democracy and modem human rights discourse.

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