.- The immigration raid in New Bedford last week is evidence of the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform in the United States, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley in a comment published yesterday in the Boston Globe.
“President George W. Bush has called for it, Senators Edward Kennedy and John McCain have worked for it, but the objective has been mired in political rhetoric and obstructive tactics at several levels of the political process,” the Cardinal-Archbishop of Boston wrote.
While the people arrested in last week’s raid are illegal immigrants, respecting their humanity and the meeting the needs of the women and children, whose situation is desperate, should be foremost, the cardinal said.
The Cardinal said he is concerned about some of the principles guiding the response and the fact that a policy that meets the immediate needs of those who were caught up in last week's raid is not yet in place.
O’Malley pointed out that in order to be released from custody those arrested in New Bedford had to assert that they were "the sole caretaker" of their children.
“The question is intended to guarantee one parent or caretaker for each child, but reports indicate that this goal has not been met,” he said.
“More important, the question fails to produce an acceptable humanitarian policy. Mothers can be separated from their children, and perhaps deported, as long as there would be a caretaker for the children remaining in Massachusetts,” he stated.
“Our shared respect for humanity and our faith in the promise of a better future call us to do better,” he concluded.