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Bishops Decry Failure of Immigration Reform

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2007-07-02 11:24:52     
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

The U.S. bishops decried failure of immigration reform and its implicit exploitation of millions of people.

The position was voiced by Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino, California, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration.

"As a nation, we cannot continue to employ an immigration system that leads to the exploitation of millions of our fellow human beings," bishop Barnes said. "We cannot accept the toil of a large underclass which does not have full rights in our society. This strikes at the very character of our nation and lessens us as a people."

Bishop Barnes called on "Congress not to abandon this issue and to return to it as soon as possible."

"The status quo is morally unacceptable and should not be allowed to stand," he said. "The U.S. bishops shall continue to point out the moral deficiencies in the immigration system and work toward justice until it is achieved."

The June 29 statement follows.

On behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), I am deeply troubled that fair and comprehensive immigration reform legislation has failed to move forward in the U.S. Senate.

I applaud those U.S. Senators of both parties who showed courage in working for comprehensive reform legislation and encourage them to continue their efforts to fix our broken immigration system.

As a nation, we cannot continue to employ an immigration system that leads to the exploitation of millions of our fellow human beings. We cannot accept the toil of a large underclass which does not have full rights in our society. This strikes at the very character of our nation and lessens us as a people.

I urge our elected officials in Congress not to abandon this issue and to return to it as soon as possible. The status quo is morally unacceptable and should not be allowed to stand. The U.S. bishops shall continue to point out the moral deficiencies in the immigration system and work toward justice until it is achieved.

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