Loading
Immigration bill does not criminalize assistance efforts, say legislators

.- A group of legislators are striving to assure the U.S. Catholic bishops that a new and much criticized immigration reform bill “does not criminalize humanitarian assistance efforts … nor did it intend to.”

The bill, they wrote in an April 5th letter, is the “House's good-faith effort to bring human traffickers to justice” but it “will not be the final product on this issue.”

The letter was sent by House Judiciary Committee chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.), House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.), and House International Relations chairman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.).

“We can assure you, just as under current law, religious organizations would not have to ‘card’ people at soup kitchens and homeless shelters under the House bill's anti-smuggling provisions,” they wrote.

“Prosecutors would no sooner prosecute good Samaritans for ‘assisting’ illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. under the House bill than they would prosecute such persons for ‘encouraging’ illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. under current law, which has existed for nearly 20 year,” they continued.

The three legislators said they supported H.R. 4437 in December because it would be a solid first step in preventing illegal immigration, helping law enforcement agents gain control of the borders, and re- establishing respect for immigration law.

They “wholeheartedly concur” with the bishops’ assessment that “human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery,” they wrote.

However, the “current alien-smuggling laws are inadequate in the fight against these sophisticated coyotes and snakeheads who rape, rob, beat, and abandon their human ‘cargo,’ and also poison our communities through drug trafficking,” the legislators argued.

They said border-area U.S. Attorneys have asked for the tools in H.R. 4437 to aid them in their fight against alien smuggling.

The legislators promised to keep communication open with the bishops as Congress considers the issue. They also said they remain committed to reducing the penalty for illegal presence in the U.S. from a felony to a misdemeanor.


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 (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
Apr
20

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014

EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Gospel
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Homily
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: