Catholic World News

Miami archbishop: Enact immigration reform

June 07, 2010

Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who was installed on June 1 as Archbishop of Miami, is calling upon Congress “to seize the opportunity for a comprehensive fix to our broken immigration system. To date, its failure to act has contributed to neo-nativist anti-immigrant sentiment and to ill-advised initiatives like Arizona's recent immigration law that usurps what is the purview of the federal government.”

Citing Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, Archbishop Wenski adds that

these immigrants ask only for the opportunity to become legal -- to come out of the shadows where they live in fear of a knock on their door in the dead of night or an immigration raid to their work place. Like Jean Valjean, today's migrants only look for the opportunity to redeem themselves through honest work. Today, many take umbrage at the Catholic bishops' advocacy on behalf of these “illegals”-- but, in doing so, we stand in a proud moral tradition, like the novel's benevolent Bishop Myriel, who gave his candlesticks to the desperate Jean Valjean and protected him from arrest by Javert.

Further information:
Sound Off! 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 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Bernadette - Jun. 12, 2010 4:11 AM ET USA

    It's clear that the U.S. bishops are not in sync with their flocks. We here in Arizona do not feel that the "new" law is ill-advised, Bishop Wenski. I, too, think you should read the "Arizona Law" before you make your comments.

  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Jun. 07, 2010 11:21 PM ET USA

    Oh, you are telling me that I should invite someone who has broken in my to stay for dinner too? The key is "illegal", these people showed no respect for our laws while coming here. Why should we believe that they will respect our laws while they are becoming citizens or after. They need to go / stay home and try to improve their own countries . . .

  • Posted by: Lilacs2me - Jun. 07, 2010 8:14 PM ET USA

    Our immigration system is only broken insofar as immigration laws are not upheld. Period. Uphold our rightfully enacted laws, and we don't have a problem. And we also won't have as much crime, that's for sure.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 07, 2010 7:39 PM ET USA

    I wonder if His Excellency has actually read this "ill-advised" law in Arizona? He may also learn a lot from the residents near the southern Arizona border.