Bishops Welcome 1st Step in Immigration Reform

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WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 30, 2010 ( A U.S. bishops’ official welcomed a first step in Congress toward immigration reform, though it is unlikely that progress will be made by legislators this year.

Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City praised an «immigration framework» presented Thursday in the Senate as «an important first step in the process of achieving the enactment of a comprehensive measure.»

The framework is only an outline of what could eventually become a bill, and the bishop urged "members of both parties to begin a process toward introducing and enacting bipartisan legislation which affirms the rule of law and basic human rights.»

Though the bishops gave support to the «general direction» of the framework, they criticized certain elements, including «extending marriage-like immigration benefits to same-sex relationships.»

But immigration reform «can no longer wait and should not be politicized or held hostage to ideology,» Bishop Wester affirmed. «Our immigration system is badly broken and is in need of immediate repair.»

Unfortunately, however, it seems unlikely that immigration reform will come before Congress anytime soon. Many legislators are up for re-election this year and are already insecure after a messy health care vote.

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