WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 11, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops are reminding government leaders of the “long overdue” need to reform immigration laws and policies.
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, appealed to government leaders to enact legislation on this issue.
“The president and congress can no longer wait to address this important issue,” the prelate said last month.
“In the absence of comprehensive reform, many states and localities are taking the responsibility of enforcing immigration law into their own hands,” he noted.
“This has led to abuses and injustices for many U.S. families and immigrant communities,” the archbishop lamented.
He underlined the need to include policies by which current undocumented immigrants can earn citizenship.
Archbishop Gomez also appealed for policies that protect families. He noted that “our current policies are breaking up families in the name of enforcing our laws.”
“That should not be,” the prelate asserted. “We should be reuniting and strengthening families — not separating wives from husbands and children from their parents.”
He stated, “Congress and the president have a responsibility to come together to enact reform that corrects this humanitarian problem, respects the dignity and hard work of our immigrant brothers and sisters, and reflects America’s proud history as a hospitable society and a welcoming culture.”