The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration, has called on President George Bush and Congress "to work together to produce a fair and just comprehensive immigration reform bill." In a statement dated Tuesday, Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino said:
"Just legislation should include a viable path to citizenship for undocumented persons residing in our nation; a temporary worker program which protects the rights of both U.S. and foreign-born laborers; reforms in the family-based immigration system by reducing backlogs and shortening times for family reunification; and restoration of due process protection for immigrants."
"Immigration enforcement also should be an important component of comprehensive immigration reform," Bishop Barnes said.
"We caution, however, that enforcement measures should not undermine the fairness of our laws and should ensure that the human dignity of the person is protected. "We will oppose enforcement initiatives which do not meet this test."
The prelate added: "The time has come for the leaders of both chambers to come together and enact legislation which protects the human dignity of immigrants while also ensuring the integrity of our borders and the security of our nation. "The only way for our nation to achieve this goal is to adopt a comprehensive immigration reform measure."
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