Archbishop Fernando Saenz Lacalle of San Salvador called for just immigration reform in the US this week and said US senators should not forget that they are part of “a country of immigrants and they should be mindful of the immigrants of today.”
“In the case of the United States, we should remember that all those who are in the Senate are immigrants or children of immigrants,” the archbishop said at the conclusion of Mass last Sunday.
“There is only one earth to be inhabited by the great human family,” he continued. “Therefore, there should be openness to immigration, which nevertheless should be regulated by the different countries; not to reject it, but to channel this need for work that people have.”
Immigration reform, he said, should respect “this general principle that we are all brothers and sisters and there should be considerable assistance for those who need to emigrate.”
The archbishop also called on countries in the region to reduce criminal activity on the US border, which has a negative affect on many others who only seek honest work.
He thanked President Bush for his efforts to achieve immigration reform and a temporary worker program while at the same time calling for respect for the law.
He also noted that countries in the region are benefiting from the remittances which immigrants send home. In 2006 El Salvador received more than 3 billion from immigrants in the US.