Denver – Catholics should be politically active at both the local and national level to promote a humane reform of immigration law is the message coming out of a conference in Salt Lake City sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.
Absent comprehensive federal immigration reform in 2012, advocates for illegal immigrants are bracing for another wave of state legislative proposals in 2012 intended to restrict children's access to education systems and public assistance programs.
A former official in President George W. Bush’s administration said the immigration debate has been co-opted by zero-population control groups touting a brand of nationalism that’s damaging the Republican Party with Latinos.
"We call on the administration to prioritize release of immigrant families in all cases. We
urge the administration to assign social workers to manage familiesʼ cases rather than
placing them in detention. For families without housing, the administration should
partner with non-profit shelter or child welfare organizations experienced in supporting
asylum-seeking and immigrant families to resolve any issues preventing the direct
release of families. Social workers with proven track records providing family and child
Fixing the nation's broken immigration system is a federal responsibility, says Bishop John C. Wester of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.