Letters to the Editor for National Migration Week

One way to stand with our neighbors who are coming to the United States for a better life is to send letters to the editors of our local newspapers. The USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants page has these tips for successful letter writing. 

National Migration Week Talking Points

• Catholics are called to stand with immigrants and refugees as our brothers and sisters. This is who the Catholic Church is. This is what we as Catholics do.
• Pope Francis invites us to be part of a culture of encounter as we welcome, protect, integrate, and promote
immigrants and refugees in our midst.
• Immigration is about real people who are trying to find a better life and a new beginning. It’s about more than
statistics, it’s about families. As Pope Francis stated, “Each migrant has a name, a face and a story.”
• Welcoming immigrants is part of Catholic Social Teaching and reflects the Biblical tradition to welcome the stranger.
• The Catholic Church has been welcoming immigrants and refugees to the United States since the nation’s founding and has been integral to helping them integrate into American culture.
• In addition to welcoming and caring for those in need, the Church continues to uphold the centrality of family
reunification as a critical component of our immigration and refugee systems.
• Forced displacement of people is at the highest level since World War II, with more than 65 million people displaced around the world and over 22 million refugees.
• Refugees are the most rigorously screened population coming into America. This screening happens before they ever set foot in our country. The United States has the most thorough background checks of immigrants of any nation in the world.

Letters to the Editor Tips

Writing a letter to the editor (LTE) is the perfect way to add another perspective, offer a rebuttal, or express your appreciation for an already-published article or commentary piece. Please let us know if your letter to the editor is published!

We’ll deliver it to elected officials and promote it on our social media. Completing this final step in the letter
to the editor process helps ensure that your letter’s impact is even greater. Email us at migrationweek@usccb.org with a link to your published LTE.

Letter to the Editor Writing Tips
• Keep it short (150-250 words) – If you don’t edit your LTE, the news outlet might edit it for you. Since they could cut out your main point, it’s best to write something both punchy and brief.
• Speak in your own voice. Tell why the article matters to you. Talk about your faith, professional experience or
knowledge of climate change. Be personal and authentic.
• Get local. Editors are generally more interested in letters that highlight local impacts. Can you relate the issues raised in a national piece on migration and immigration to issues impacting your own community?
• Get personal. Migrants are people on the move, but they are first and foremost human beings with families.
Show that human side. Personalize your perspective with a story about people you know affected by migration – a family member or someone you know from your church.
• Follow these best practices:

1) Reference a recent article (if possible). Your letter is most likely to be published if it responds directly to the
newspaper’s recent coverage of a specific migration issue. Mention the article you’re responding to by its
headline and date.
2) Send your LTE in the body of your email, not as an attachment.
3) Include contact information: Include your full name, contact information, location, and profession or
expertise (if relevant) in the email as well. (The paper will not print your contact information.)

• Be timely – Try to get your LTE in within one to three days the relevant article is published.

Get Engaged!

National Migration Week
Sample Letters to The Editor

ENGLISH
Dear Editor:
Your recent article, [name of article], discussing the issue of immigration/refugees was alarming [or reaffirming
(depends on tone of article)]. [name of State or community] has a proud history of welcoming newcomers, including immigrants, refugees, and newly naturalized citizens.
It is imperative that our local communities continue to provide a warm and welcoming presence to newcomers, so that they can feel a part of the community and contribute to its ongoing well-being and prosperity. In fact, more than 40% of America’s largest companies were founded either by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Newcomers, such as immigrants and refugees are indeed a part of our future community well-being.

OR
(in an article that has a religious angle or mentions a bishop, Church leader, or the Catholic Church)
Dear Editor,
Your recent article, [name of article], discussing the issue of immigration/refugees was alarming [or reaffirming
(depends on tone of article)]. As a Catholic, I have long held pro-immigration/pro-refugee beliefs and support for migrant communities as a central feature of my life of faith. We affirm that all people – immigrants and native-born alike – are made in the image and likeness of God whose human dignity is deserving of respect. The Church celebrates National Migration Week this week, which is a week-long opportunity to raise awareness on Catholic teachings related to migration. It is encouraging to see religious leaders stand in solidarity of migrants and encourage positive reforms that will help to fix our broken immigration system during this special time for the Church.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
SPANISH
Estimado Editor:
En su reciente artículo [nombre del artículo], donde discute el asunto de la inmigración/los refugiados ha sido
alarmante [o reafirmante (dependiendo del tono del artículo)]. [Nombre del Estado o de la comunidad] conserva una orgullosa historia de acoger a los recién llegados, incluyendo a los inmigrantes, los refugiados y a los nuevos ciudadanos naturalizados.
Es imperativo que nuestras comunidades locales continúen ofreciendo una presencia cálida y acogedora a los recién llegados para que ellos sientan que son parte de la comunidad y contribuyan a su continuo florecimiento. De hecho, más del 40% de las grandes compañías en los Estados Unidos fueron establecidas por inmigrantes o por hijos de inmigrantes. Los recién llegados, los inmigrantes y los refugiados, forman realmente parte de la futura prosperidad de nuestras comunidades.

OR

(en un artículo que tenga un ángulo religioso o que mencione a un obispo, líder de la Iglesia o a la Iglesia Católica)
Estimado Editor
Su reciente artículo, [nombre del artículo], donde discutía el asunto de la inmigración ha sido alarmante [o reafirmante (dependiendo del tono del artículo)]. Como católico, por mucho tiempo he mantenido a la inmigración y al apoyo por las comunidades inmigrantes como una característica central de mi fe. Nosotros afirmamos que todos los individuos— inmigrantes y nativos por igual—han sido hechos a imagen y semejanza de Dios y se merecen nuestro respeto y apoyo.
Mientras que esta semana la Iglesia celebra la Semana Nacional de la Migración, lo cual brinda una oportunidad para concientizar sobre sus enseñanzas relacionadas a la migración, es muy alentador ver a los líderes religiosos en solidaridad con los migrantes y apoyando unas reformas positivas que servirán para arreglar nuestro quebrado sistema migratorio.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

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