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Uphold immigrants’ dignity, North American bishops urge

Catholic World News - June 14, 2010

Bishops representing bishops’ conferences across North America have issued a statement reaffirming “our commitment to vulnerable persons who migrate in search of protection or for a better life for themselves and their families.” The statement, released June 11, followed a June 2-4 meeting.

“We stand in solidarity with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who in his recent address to the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People, called upon the nations of the world to establish policies and plans which give migrants and refugees ‘opportunities to obtain legal status, promoting the fair rights to family reunification, asylum and refugee status, compensating for necessary restrictive measures and opposing the appalling trafficking of human beings,’” the bishops write. “We echo the Holy Father’s call to international organizations, international bodies, and nation-states to “resolve the crucial questions of security and development to the benefit of all.”

“As an immigrant nation, the United States and the American people, including Catholics, have traditionally welcomed newcomers and helped to integrate them into the country,” the bishops continued. “We call upon the Congress of the United States and the Obama Administration to affirm this honored tradition and reform U.S. immigration law to allow migrants who work hard in the U.S. economy to enjoy the benefits of legal protection.”

“This reform would preclude the need to impose criminal penalties on persons not lawfully admitted. It also would end deportations of family members and the breakup of families. In all countries of the region we continue to welcome and protect migrants and call upon our governments to make their immigration laws more humane.”

The bishops also denounced the scourge of human trafficking and called upon governments to assist the people of Haiti.

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  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 14, 2010 10:34 PM ET USA

    I hope the bishops recognize a political attack from the White House. As much as I decried the bishops' tepid response to the anti-life, anti-God given freedom of the Obamacare bill, I sincerely hope this attack will merit a clear condemnation for meddling in the affairs of the Church in violation of the spirit of the First Amendment. Excommunication of Casey would be a good start.

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