US Bishops Seeking Immigration Reform in '10

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 6, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops are seeking legislation to reform immigration policy in 2010, saying migration should be a choice, not a necessity.

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The bishops’ conference announced today the beginning of a postcard campaign and two Web sites to help build momentum in the effort to bring reform to immigration laws this year.

Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, Utah, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Migration, and Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, New York, chairman of the bishops’ International Policy Committee, made the announcement. The campaign comes as National Migration Week is under way through Saturday, focused on “Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice.”

“It is our view, and that of others, that the American public, including the Catholic and other faith communities, want a humane and comprehensive solution to the problems which beset our immigration system, and they want Congress to address this issue,” said Bishop Wester.

A million and a half postcards have already been ordered for the campaign. And the Web sites offer resources for parish use.

Bishop Hubbard noted the international aspects of migration, pointing to a “right not to migrate,” meaning the right “to be able to find work in [would-be migrants’] own home countries so they can support their families in dignity.”

“Migration should be driven by choice, not necessity,” he said.

Bishop Wester affirmed the Church will work so that legislators act on this issue in the near future.

“We remain committed to moving immigration reform as soon as possible,” he said. “We hope to make sure that our federal legislators are committed to that goal as well.”

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On the Net:

Justice for Immigrants: www.justiceforimmigrants.org

National Migration Week: www.usccb.org/mrs/nmw/index.shtml

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