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Archbishop Chaput: ‘deep immigration reform’ is long overdue

Catholic World News - August 08, 2013

In his weekly column, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia asked local Catholics to “pray about the immigration issue” and expressed the hope that “many of us will contact our federal representatives to press them to vote for the kind of deep immigration reform we so urgently need.”

“Americans have a right to secure borders, especially in an era of anti-American violence,” he wrote. “We have a right to reasonably regulate our immigration policies. We have a right to exclude criminals from our country and to protect the financial health of our public institutions and services. We have a right to verify foreign visitors and guest workers, and to expect their compliance with the law.”

“But most undocumented immigrants in the United States – the vast majority — never commit a violent act, have no desire to undermine the common good and contribute productively to American prosperity,” Archbishop Chaput continued. “For Catholics – who belong to a Church that supports the fundamental right of every person to migrate to seek a better life for his or her family, and who themselves were disdained as ‘outsiders’ for much of American history – anti-immigrant resentment is especially wrong.”

“Immigration is an issue where committed Catholics can legitimately disagree,” he added. “But real reform of our immigration laws is long overdue. We need to act now. And the five key legislative elements sought by America’s bishops make good economic, political and human sense.”

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  • Posted by: unum - Aug. 09, 2013 7:27 AM ET USA

    Abp. Chaput, who I admire, says, “Americans have a right to secure borders, especially in an era of anti-American violence”. He also says, "(The) Church that supports the fundamental right of every person to migrate to seek a better life for his or her family". Those rights are in conflict, especially in the U.S. where a corrupt Congress and White House will not secure our borders in order to allow big donors to have cheap labor. The bishops must provide moral leadership in the real world!

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Aug. 08, 2013 7:08 PM ET USA

    Bishop Chaput is right in that people have a right to migrate but that right is based on legal means and not illegal means. Every state has a right to protect its borders and say who will or will not enter. Reform is overdue. Security is first without all the exceptions and false checks. Do this step by step with full discussion and costs and there will be better results.

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