Catholic Bishop to Congress: ‘Immigration is humanitarian issue’

Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the problem of immigration should not be dissected as an economic issue, but as a humanitarian one.

Bishop Kicanas made the remarks July 14 before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law.

“The current immigration law we have today fails to meet the moral test of dignity to the human person,” said Bishop Kicanas, whose diocese runs along the whole of the Arizona-Mexico border. Referring to a tough new law passed April 23 in Arizona but not expected to take effect until July 29, he said it was “only providing a Band-Aid unless new federal laws are made.”

He made a clear distinction between those coming to the United States to work and those coming to do the nation harm.

“From a moral perspective, we cannot accept the toil of immigrants without providing them protection,” Bishop Kicanas said.

The testimony the bishop delivered made several points about what comprehensive immigration reform should include.

A new immigration law should “honor the rule of law and help restore it by requiring 11 million undocumented (immigrants) to pay a fine, pay back taxes, learn English and get in the back of the line,” the bishop said. “We believe this (is) a proportionate penalty.”

The bishop said federal law should be enforced and those who do not uphold the law should be held accountable.

Bishop Kicanas said immigration reform would help to make the nation more secure and focused on “those coming who intend to do us harm.”

McAuley’s World Comments 

I posted this document to refute a number iof items that I have read in the MSM, in an attempt to clarify the issues:

1) The Church does not endorse “open borders”.

2) The church has not called for an “amnesty”, “amnesty” does not “respect the rule of law”.

3). The Church states that, “federal law should be enforced and those who do not uphold the law should be held accountable”.  

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