A little more than a week after Gov. Jan Brewer signed Arizona's controversial new immigration law, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony spoke on the "moral imperative" of immigration reform last night at Fordham University. The event was sponsored by America and Fordham's Center on Religion and Culture. At the time the event was scheduled, none of the planners knew how timely the topic would be. Needless to say, the lecture hall was packed. The talk is now online, and will appear in a future issue of America:
On March 21st, I addressed some 250,000 people who were gathered on the Mall in Washington, D.C., for a rally in support of comprehensive immigration reform. In my remarks, I pledged that the Catholic Church would never stop advocating for our immigrant brothers and sisters, and that we would continue to defend their right to be full members of our communities and nation.
That same day, as you may remember, our country’s Congressional legislators were voting on landmark health care reform legislation. It was the culmination of a partisan battle that left both sides bitter and exhausted. And so, in conversation with a few key legislators and their aids the next day, I was disappointed but not altogether surprised to discover that a bi-partisan push for comprehensive immigration reform seemed yet again to be drifting off the legislative agenda and into the fog of uncertainty and inaction.
Thank you, Arizona!
With the stroke of her pen, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer not only signed into law the country's most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant legislation, her action has helped to reinvigorate the comprehensive immigration reform movement, and has made clear the consequences of the failure to fix our nation’s broken immigration system.