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Bishop: ‘we must continue to fight’ for federal immigration reform

Catholic World News - January 19, 2012

Addressing a Catholic conference on immigration, Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City urged Catholics to advocate for immigration reform at the federal level.

“Different laws, particularly enforcement-only initiatives, played out in 50 states are bound to fail, since they will not fix a broken federal immigration system,” he said. Immigrants, over 70 percent of whom have been here five years or longer, are not leaving; they are just hiding in fear.”

Bishop Wester added:

We must continue to fight because of the real suffering that is occurring in immigrant families and communities. There are four million US citizen children who have one or more undocumented parents. The combination of federal-state enforcement partnerships and federal enforcement actions has led to an unprecedented separation of families. Nearly a quarter of those deported in the last year were part of a family with a US-citizen--most likely a child. They also have led to a record number of deportations over the past three years.

The prelate also upheld the “Utah Compact” as a model for “fight[ing] these state and local immigration laws.”

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