Archbishop Jose H. Gomez has praised the passage of the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives, and called on the U.S. Senate to also pass the immigration reform measure.
Archbishop Gomez, the chair of the Committee on Migration for the U.S. bishops’ conference and co-adjutor archbishop of Los Angeles, commended the House for its “courageous and historic vote.” He said the legislation would give undocumented young people “a chance to reach their full, God-given potential.”
The bill would allow young people brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents before the age of 16 to apply for legal permanent residence and eventual citizenship as long as they completed two years of higher education or military service.
"We cannot let this moment pass. Our Senators must also pass this important legislation, so that it can be signed into law by the President as soon as possible," the archbishop continued.
According to Archbishop Gomez, the legislation would provide a “fair opportunity” to thousands of deserving young persons who want to become Americans.
"This would not only benefit them, but our country as well. It is the right thing to do, for them and for our nation," he said.
On Dec. 9 the Senate voted not to consider its version of the DREAM Act. This leaves open the possibility of a vote on the House version next week while avoiding any need to reconcile the Senate and House versions of the bill.
If the Senate approves the House version, the bill would go to President Obama for his signature.