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


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: