Bishops Back Aid to Immigrants

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, May 11

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced yesterday that it will “add the voice of the Catholic Church” to the call for major immigration legislation, including a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens in the United States.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the archbishop of Washington, said Catholic parishes and social service agencies see firsthand the results of the current law, including long waits for family reunification and mistreatment of illegal aliens. He added that bishops also are “disturbed with the current public discourse,” which they see as anti-immigrant.

“Because we witness such suffering, it is clear to the bishops of the United States and to agencies that work with us that our immigration system is broken and needs repair. Before we can achieve that goal, however, we must change public attitudes about immigrants,” he said at a press conference in Washington to announce the “Justice for Immigrants” campaign.

The campaign calls for faster family reunification, a guest-worker program that eventually leads to citizenship, better protections for both immigrant and native-born workers, and a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally.

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Brad A. Greenberg, San Bernadino County Sun, May 9

Two Christian organizations Monday rebuked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for encouraging the Minuteman Project’s volunteer policing of America’s border with Mexico.

The Minuteman Project, which launched its campaign against illegal immigration in Arizona last month, plans to move its efforts to California in August.

“We are appalled that Governor Schwarzenegger, who as our state’s chief magistrate is pledged to maintain the rule of law, has chosen instead to praise a group of vigilantes who operate outside the law, saying they’ve done a terrific job in patrolling the border with Mexico,’ the California Council of Churches and Pomona-based Progressive Christians Uniting wrote in a strongly worded letter to the governor.

“Such a statement is dangerous and unprecedented,’ the letter continued. “No responsible or moral public official would encourage citizens to take the law into their own hands, particularly on an issue that is already so laden with division and hatred.’

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