Photo: U.S. Conference of Bishops Support Immigration Reform
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, today urged the President and the Congress to work together to enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
Archbishop Gomez made his remarks following an address on immigration reform delivered this afternoon in El Paso, Texas, by President Obama on immigration reform.
“The president and Congress can no longer wait to address this important issue,” Archbishop Gomez said. “In the absence of comprehensive reform, many states and localities are taking the responsibility of enforcing immigration law into their own hands. This has led to abuses and injustices for many U.S. families and immigrant communities.”
The USCCB has consistently advocated for comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration policies that secures U.S. borders and gives undocumented immigrants the chance to earn permanent residency and eventual citizenship.
Archbishop Gomez said that any comprehensive reform must include a path for currently undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship. He repeated the bishops’ call for an end to federal enforcement policies that are harmful to families.
“Our current policies are breaking up families in the name of enforcing our laws. That should not be. We should be reuniting and strengthening families — not separating wives from husbands and children from their parents.”
Archbishop Gomez said that immigration reform is long overdue and requires bipartisan cooperation and leadership.
“Congress and the President have a responsibility to come together to enact reform that corrects this humanitarian problem, respects the dignity and hard work of our immigrant brothers and sisters, and reflects America’s proud history as a hospitable society and a welcoming culture.”