On February 13, 2013, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing entitled “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, submitted written testimony describing the Catholic Church’s perspective in comprehensive immigration reform.
Specifically, the Archbishop recommends that Congress:
- Enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation that provides a path to citizenship for undocumented workers in our nation; reform the employment-based immigration system so that low-skilled workers can enter and work in a safe, legal, orderly, and humane manner; and reduce backlogs and waiting times in the family preference system so families can be reunited.
- Examine the “push” factors of migration, such as international economic policies, and enact policies that encourage sustainable economic development, especially in sending communities;
- Restore basic due process protections for immigrants, including the restoration of administrative and judicial discretion in removal proceedings and elimination of the 3-and 10-year bars to re-entry;
- Adopt necessary legal reforms for special populations, such as refugees, asylum seekers, trafficking victims, and unaccompanied children; and
- Include the necessary elements in any legislation to efficiently implement a new immigration program, including taking actions to prepare the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to implement a new program and to properly fund such implementation.
For more information about the Church’s position on immigration reform, as well as an electronic postcard you can send to your Senators and Congressional Representatives asking that they pass immigration reform, see the Justice for Immigrants campaign’s website.