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‘Seize moment’ on comprehensive immigration reform, bishops say
BALTIMORE (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration joined the broadening chorus calling on President Barack Obama and Congress to “seize the moment” and pass comprehensive immigration reform next year.
In a statement issued Nov. 13 during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual fall general assembly in Baltimore, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, committee chair, called on Obama and congressional leaders to work together on a bipartisan immigration reform bill.
He also encouraged people to make their voices heard in support of an immigration system “which upholds the rule of law, preserves family unity and protects the human rights and dignity of the person.”
Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, chairman of Catholic Relief Services, said in Arizona the business community has recently begun to recognize that immigration reform is necessary for its economic success.
“The bishops’ voice on this has been strong, consistent and clear,” he said, adding that now support is needed from business and community leaders.
“There are still deaths in the desert,” he said. “And people living in terror of being deported.”
It’s time to move forward, he added. “We’ve talked about this endlessly.”
With the strong turnout of Latino voters in support of Obama’s re-election Nov. 6, politicians from both parties have said they are willing to revive and follow through on the long-stagnant efforts to fix the problematic U.S. immigration system.