WASHINGTON, D.C., NOV. 14, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Responding to recent bipartisan support for immigration reform in the US, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, California called upon President Obama and congressional leadership "to work together to enact bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform in 2013."

"For decades, the U.S. Catholic bishops have advocated for a just and humane reform of our nation's immigration system," the archbishop said. "We have witnessed the family separation, exploitation, and the loss of life caused by the current system. Millions of persons remain in the shadows, without legal protection and marginalized from society."

"As a moral matter, this suffering must end," he said.

Archbishop Gomez invited Catholics and others of "good will" to voice their support on this issue, and encouraged elected officials "to work toward the creation of a system which upholds the rule of law, preserves family unity, and protects the human rights and dignity of the person."