Friday, July 28, 2006

Bishops endorse Bush-Senate approach to Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Comprehensive immigration reform is the best way to secure the nation’s borders and ensure that its immigration laws are just and human, a U.S. bishop and chairman of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. told U.S. House of Representatives.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, CLINIC chairman and a consultant to the Committee on Migration of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, testified July 27 before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims that the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (CIRA) of 2006, which has been passed by the U.S. Senate, “contains many of the elements necessary to comprehensively reform a flawed immigration system.”
“Although it does not contain all the elements the U.S. bishops would like to see in legislation, it is the right approach and right direction our country should be taking in tackling the problem of illegal immigration,” he said.

“In our view, an enforcement-only approach to immigration reform will not address the need for legal avenues for future flows of immigrants to come to the United States to work or join family members, nor would it address the plight of 11-12 million undocumented in the nation,” Bishop DiMarzio said.
He stressed that enactment of comprehensive immigration reform would enhance, not undermine, protecting the nation from terrorist threats.

“By enacting comprehensive immigration reform, we would be better able to identify who is already in the country and to identify and control who enters it,” he said.

Bishop DiMarzio said that providing “an earned path to citizenship” would compel the millions of undocumented in the United States “to emerge ‘from the shadows’ and identify themselves to the government.”

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