Immigration Reform Needed, Say U.S. Bishops

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 11, 2005, ( U.S. bishops say that the nation’s immigration system is “broken and badly needs repair,” and have launched a campaign to promote comprehensive immigration reform.

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The campaign, “Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope. The Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform,” intends to mobilize a network of individuals and organizations that support its goals, as well as create awareness among Catholics on the need for “justice for immigrants.”

In a news conference Tuesday, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., said the goals of the multi-year campaign are four-fold: To educate on the benefits of immigration; To strengthen positive public opinion regarding immigrants; To advocate for just immigration laws; To help immigrants gain access to legal services.

The cardinal commented that the first challenge is to change attitudes.

“Anti-immigrant fervor on TV and radio shows, citizens attempting to enforce immigration laws, and, most disturbingly, the enactment of restrictive immigration laws are evidence of” a negative public attitude toward immigration, stated the cardinal.

“We are, and should remain, a nation of immigrants,” Cardinal McCarrick stated.

The cardinal said the Catholic Church has a deep stake in immigration reform because, like the nation itself, it is ethnically, socially and culturally diverse. “Regardless of race, heritage, or national origin, we are one family under God,” he said.

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