Loading
Archbishop Gomez welcomes immigration reform proposal
Archbishop José H. Gomez.
Archbishop José H. Gomez.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles applauded the introduction of legislation to change the U.S. immigration system, while pledging the bishops’ help in reviewing and improving the proposal.

“The U.S. bishops look forward to carefully examining the legislation and working with Congress to fashion a final bill that respects the basic human rights and dignity of newcomers to our land—migrants, refugees, and other vulnerable populations,” he said April 17.

Archbishop Gomez, the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration, refrained from commenting on specific details of the bill – which is more than 800 pages in length – until the U.S. bishops’ conference can thoroughly analyze it.

However, he commended the sponsors of the Senate bill for their “leadership and courage” in working to address the immigration system in the United States.

On April 17, an immigration reform bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate by a bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators who have been working to strike a deal between those who want to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and those who want to focus on securing the U.S. border.

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, known as S. 744, is being sponsored by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

If the legislation is passed, it will offer a 13-year path to citizenship to immigrants who are already in the country illegally. These immigrants will be required to pass background checks, be fingerprinted, pay fines and taxes and prove gainful employment.

The bill would also institute other changes including a wider pool of visas for migrant workers.

However, no undocumented immigrants can apply for temporary status until certain border security “triggers” are in place.

The bill has drawn initial criticism both from those who thought the waiting period for undocumented immigrants was too harsh and those who argued it was unfair to offer citizenship under any circumstances to immigrants who entered the country illegally.

However, it also drew praise from those who view it as a realistic compromise that can help alleviate problems that have plagued the U.S. immigration system for years.

Archbishop Gomez applauded the legislation as an effort toward comprehensive immigration reform, which the bishops have long encouraged.

He said the bishops will work “constructively” with the senators and other Congress members to improve the proposal if needed, emphasizing that the goal is an immigration system “that restores the rule of law in a humane and just manner.”

The archbishop pointed to the principles laid out in the 2003 pastoral letter, “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope.”

That letter listed several goals for immigration reform, such as a “path to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants that includes “the maximum number of persons” and acts “within a reasonable time frame.”

In addition, the bishops have repeatedly backed a family-based immigration system that protects vulnerable groups and unifies spouses and their children.

They have also endorsed a program to help low-skilled migrant workers to enter and work in the U.S. legally, as well as the restoration of due process protections for immigrants and policy changes to address the deeper causes of immigration.

Tags: Immigration, Immigration reform

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?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Jan
26

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30

Gospel
Date
01/26/15
01/25/15
01/24/15

Daily Readings


Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
01/26/15

Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30

Homily
Date
01/26/15
01/25/15
01/24/15