Loading
Catholic bishops back Neb. bill to help pregnant immigrants
Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, Neb.
Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, Neb.

.- The Catholic bishops of Nebraska have praised the state legislature’s vote to restore taxpayer-funded access to prenatal care for poor pregnant women regardless of their immigration status or whether they are imprisoned.

Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, with Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln and Bishop William Dendinger of Grand Island, applauded the passage of Legislative Bill 599.

Some unborn children are “substantially at risk” both before and after birth due to “factors beyond their control” such as family impoverishment and their mothers’ ineligibility for Medicaid, Archbishop Lucas said on April 9 in his capacity as head of the Nebraska Catholic Conference.

“The necessary response – the response that is consistent with pro-life principles emanating from human dignity – is to ensure access to prenatal health care, which is undeniably known to mitigate the risk,” he said.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, has promised to veto the bill.

He said that the state would become a “magnet” for illegal immigrants if the funding resumes. He also said it is “an issue of fairness.”

“Hard-working Nebraskans pay their taxes and obey the laws. Illegal aliens who don't pay taxes and don't obey the laws should not be receiving taxpayer-funded benefits,” he said in an April 9 statement.

Thirty senators, including 14 Republicans, supported the bill, the Omaha World Herald reports. A veto override will be necessary for the bill to become law.

Nebraska Right to Life has asked six pro-life senators who opposed the bill to support it.
 
The bill would restore services to about 1,100 illegal immigrants a year and about 40 legal residents who are in prison.

Archbishop Lucas said there are “legitimate concerns” about illegal immigration, which he characterized as a mainly federal issue. He said the bishops wish every pregnant woman in Nebraska was lawfully present under a “just” federal policy. However, the federal immigration system is “badly broken and in need of significant reform.”

He said unborn children are not “illegal aliens” but are “unique human beings and presumptive U.S. citizens, who will be fully citizens upon birth in this country.”

“Their health and well being must be favored in the proper balance,” the archbishop said.

Supporters of the bill have cited two research studies from 2000 and 2001 which found that immigrants decide where to live based on the job availability and the proximity of family members. The studies found that welfare benefits were not a factor in immigrants’ decisions, the Omaha World Herald says.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

New book 'The Vatican unknown'
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Aug
1

Liturgical Calendar

August 1, 2014

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:54-58

Gospel
Date
08/01/14
07/31/14
07/30/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 26: 1-9
Gospel:: Mt 13: 54-58

Saint of the Day

St. Alphonsus Liguori »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: