Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Archbishop Gomez calls for compassion, empathy in immigration debate

Catholic World News - January 15, 2014

In two recent talks to civic organizations, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles discussed the plight of immigrants who are present in the United States illegally.

“I’m a pastor, not a politician,” he said. “We need to insist that this issue is not about politics or economics. It’s about people. People who are struggling. People who are suffering.”

“My friends, right now we have fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers dying in the deserts outside our borders,” he continued. “Nobody even knows how many. The government estimates about 6,000 in recent years. Other people say the number is three times that. The point is there are no news stories when somebody dies in the desert.”

“We also have a permanent underclass that has been growing in our society,” he added. “Again this is not statistics, but people. We see them every day … Our comfort and our economy depend on these people. They provide millions in tax revenues. But these people are living in the margins of this great country and they have no rights, no security, no health care.”

Archbishop Gomez went on to say that “in my opinion, we need to find some way to hold undocumented immigrants accountable for breaking our laws. Personally, I think community service and civic education are more constructive than deportation and fines. But we also need to give them a chance to normalize their status and invite them to join us as citizens in building the new America.”

Archbishop Gomez added:

Over that last four years, we’ve deported nearly 2 million immigrants. Thousands more have been arrested and are being held in “detention centers” here in Los Angeles and around the country.

In the name of enforcing our laws, we’re breaking up families. We’re punishing kids for the mistakes of their parents. That’s the sad truth – one out of every four people we deport or lock up is being taken away from an intact family. Again, these aren’t just statistics. We’re talking about kids suddenly left without a mom or a dad. I think everyone would agree that this is not the America that our founders dreamed of.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($27,707 to go):
$150,000.00 $122,292.96
18% 82%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Kansas Girl - Jan. 16, 2014 12:58 PM ET USA

    Illegal immigration is a huge problem for this country and not a simple one to fix. First, however, we need to close the border. Then we can address the problem of the illegals already in our country. They need to be documented so that we know their age, family status, educational level, skill level, and so on. Then they can be given work permits, if eligible. But first the border needs to be secured. We are not against immigration but we need legal immigration not a flood of illegals.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 13 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 13 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 18 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17