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Arizona bishops welcome judge's decision on immigration law

Catholic World News - July 29, 2010

The bishops of Arizona welcomed a federal judge’s July 28 ruling that prevented parts of Arizona’s controversial immigration law from taking effect.

“We, the Roman Catholic Bishops in Arizona, commend Judge Susan Bolton for enjoining some of the more problematic provisions of SB 1070,” the bishops said in a July 28 statement. “We hope that reaction to her ruling will be expressed only in peaceful and legal ways.”

The bishops continued:

As Bishops in our respective dioceses, we know that in practically every parish there are families that have been living with the fear and anxiety generated by SB 1070 that they might be torn apart. The situation of these families might be that one parent is a citizen and that the other is not in our country legally. Or, the situation might be that some children in the family are citizens and that a brother or sister is not here legally. Our hearts go out to these families. We know them to be good people who work hard and who contribute to the economy and to the quality of life of their communities.

We will continue our advocacy against the provisions of SB 1070 and will monitor the implementation of the provisions allowed by the ruling. We will continue to advocate for comprehensive reform of our nation’s immigration laws. Our advocacy is predicated on our beliefs that:

  • Illegal immigration is bad for our nation. It is not good for us to not know who is entering our country.
  • Our international borders need to be secured and we need to be protected from drug smuggling, weapons smuggling, human trafficking and violence.
  • There must be a process – but not amnesty – for persons who have entered our country illegally to pursue legal status. This process must have proportionate consequences for the act of illegal entry, consequences that would include fines, learning English, and going to the “back of the line” to seek citizenship.
  • Our nation needs a program that would allow needed workers to enter the country legally. This program must include protection of worker rights.


  • “The tragic consequences of the failure of our nation’s political leadership to enact reform of our immigration system have included the deaths of thousands of people,” the bishops concluded. “Migrants – women, men, children in desperate circumstances – have died trying to enter our country. U.S. citizens have died because of crimes committed by drug smugglers, people smugglers and weapons smugglers. We pray for those who have died and for their grieving families. And we pray that our senators and representatives will put aside their partisan divisions and go to work immediately to fix the broken immigration system.”

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    Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
    • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Jul. 30, 2010 8:42 PM ET USA

      Can "unum" see the *real cost* of "disregard[ing] the cost" through the words of Jesus? "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Cf. Mat 25:41-43. Kudos to the bishops for their solid Catholic cojones.

    • Posted by: unum - Jul. 29, 2010 9:42 PM ET USA

      What is the position of the AZ bishops on the people who are murdered, injured, and damaged by drugs from illegal immigration? What is the position of the AZ bishops about the financial burden from illegal immigration that is bankrupting the state and increasing the tax burden on its residents? If the bishops are going to take a position on a political issue, then they should take a position on the whole issue. It's easy to deal with the benefits of a policy when you disregard the cost.

    • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Jul. 29, 2010 8:06 PM ET USA

      The bishops are trying to have it both ways. I quote from their statement: "There must be a process – but not amnesty – for persons who have entered our country illegally to pursue legal status. This process must have proportionate consequences for the act of illegal entry, consequences that would include fines, learning English, and going to the “back of the line” to seek citizenship." That's all SB1070 does: put that process in place. If someone is here illegally, there are consequences.

    • Posted by: GymK - Jul. 29, 2010 3:03 PM ET USA

      I thank & support our AZ Bishops for stating what most AZ Catholics feel about SB1070 and the Judge's decision regarding our immigration problems. If all the other U.S. and foreign Bishops would just back-off and let our AZ Bishops lead us AZ Catholics as we solve our AZ problems, we would all be better off; e.g., Cardinal "Balooney," Mexican & So American Bishops, etc. As our AZ Bishops state, we must develop a process to stop the crime without harming good hard-working Mex-American families

    • Posted by: John J Plick - Jul. 29, 2010 2:50 PM ET USA

      I continue to disagree with them (the bishops) as a matter of principle and am repelled by their constant interference in civil affairs as much as I would concerning a stranger who would break into my house for a piece of bread while I was taking a shower. The fact that they present this as only a "reasonable" position only makes it more repulsive.

    • Posted by: kman - Jul. 29, 2010 11:52 AM ET USA

      I suppose the bishops would support freeing criminals from jail if they have children at home. Such separation is unfair to the children.

    • Posted by: jtuturic3013 - Jul. 29, 2010 9:05 AM ET USA

      This seems to be a step forward for the bishops in outlining that immigration reform is needed. What seems to be missing from this, and other similar statements from other bishops, is an emphasis on the morality or not of certain actions. Not once have I heard a tag line from a bishop, for example, noting that it is a grave evil to evade paying one's taxes without some just reason. As Jesus said, "give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's. Give to God what is God's." Yet, that is exactly what happens

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