President's immigration reform speech a 'good sign,' says USCCB migration director
Kevin Appleby and President Obama.
Kevin Appleby and President Obama.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Commenting on President Obama's speech on immigration reform Thursday morning, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops migration director told CNA that the address was a “good sign” that the president is concerned and involved with the issue.

On July 1, President Obama spoke on the need to reform the country's “broken” immigration system, condemning partisanship and stressing the necessity of both parties working together to pass immigration reform. The president also criticized states such as Arizona for taking “ill-conceived” steps in devising their own legislative responses in reforming immigration policies.

Although the speech was received by the media with mixed reactions– including some commentators saying that the president addressed nothing new in his talk – USCCB director Migration and Public Affairs Kevin Appleby said that the address was important, since “without presidential leadership, immigration reform is not going to happen.”

“It was a good sign that the president did a high profile speech laying out the administration's view on this,” Appleby said during a phone interview on Thursday, adding that “it is a major issue on his agenda that needs to be examined.”

President Obama, he asserted, is “not going to shy away from this issue while many in Washington want to not take it up.”

During his speech, the president also “made a lot of references to the faith community and faith leaders being important,” Appleby noted. The speech was attended by about 250 people, including a Methodist bishop and several evangelical leaders.

Speaking on the U.S. bishops' perspective on immigration reform, Appleby said that “at this point the bishops and the president are very close in their viewpoint.”

“Certainly they might differ on the details, especially on enforcement, but I think by and large,” the president's speech “was an affirmation of where the Church is.”

When asked what the U.S. bishops' concerns are regarding immigration reform, Appleby listed “bringing people out of the shadows” for legalization, due process issues, and exploring underlying push factors for why people are immigrating to the U.S. in the first place as some of the major points.

Ultimately, the “Catholic community is key” to reform efforts, said Appleby. “Whether you agree or disagree with what the law says, there are people that are desperate and in need of assistance.”

For Catholics to understand the need for solidarity with immigrants is an  “important message,” he concluded.

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

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
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
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 19, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27