Washington D.C., Dec 17, 2010 / 17:24 pm
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput joined his brother bishops in expressing support for the controversial DREAM Act – a bill that would grant citizenship to many children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents. The bill is expected to be voted on by the Senate on Dec. 18.
Joining coadjutor Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles in endorsing the legislation, Archbishop Chaput issued a statement on Dec. 17 urging Catholics to contact their local lawmakers to vote in favor of the measure.
The act's full title is the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. It would allow young people who entered the United States before the age of 16 to apply for legal permanent residence and eventual citizenship, as long as they have finished high school, have no criminal record, have lived in the U.S. for more than five years and have completed two years of college or military service.
While Democrats largely support the measure, Republicans have criticized it for encouraging illegal immigrants to bring their children across unsecured borders. The House has already passed the act, but the Senate vote on Saturday is expected to be close.