‘Encouraged’ on Immigration Reform

House Republicans released a one-page set of “standards for immigration reform” during their annual retreat in Cambridge, Md., on Jan. 29. Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, commented, “I am encouraged by the release of these principles, which hopefully will spark action in the House of Representatives to finally address our nation’s broken immigration system.” The bishop said, “Congress must seize the moment and end the suffering of immigrants and their families.” Bishop Elizondo expressed concern, however, with some of the principles, particularly one that would confer legal status, but not a path to citizenship, to the undocumented in the country. The U.S. bishops have consistently called for a path to citizenship for undocumented persons and their families. Bishop Elizondo warned that the G.O.P. proposal threatens to leave immigrants “as a permanent underclass—a minority without the same rights and protections of the majority.”

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