George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RIGHT WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #33
A WELL-BALANCED POSITION ON IMMIGRATION BY REGIONAL CATHOLIC
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Bishops Praise Court Injunction on Arizona Law
Urge Legislators to Fix Broken Immigration System
PHOENIX, Arizona, JULY 29, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The bishops of Arizona
and New Mexico are calling on legislators to put aside their political
differences and work together to mend what they call the "broken
The prelates of the border states said this in a statement issued
Wednesday in response to the temporary injunction that U.S. District
Court Judge Susan Bolton placed on some provisions of SB 1070, more
commonly known as the "Arizona Immigration Law."
The four signatories of the letter -- Bishop James Wall of Gallup, New
Mexico; Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo
Nevares of Phoenix, and Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson -- commended
the decision of
"As bishops in our respective dioceses, we know that in practically
every parish there are families that have been living with the fear and
anxiety generated by SB 1070 that they might be torn apart," the
prelates stated. "The situation of these families might be that one
parent is a citizen and that the other is not in our country legally.
Or, the situation might be that some children in the family are
citizens and that a brother or sister is not here legally.
"Our hearts go out to these families. We know them to be good people
who work hard and who contribute to the economy and to the quality of
life of their communities."
The bishops said they would continue to oppose the problematic
provision of the "Arizona Law," without giving specifics, and that they
will "monitor the implementation of the provisions allowed by the
Additionally, the letter asserted that the bishops will also advocate
for "comprehensive reform of our nation's immigration laws," based on
several principles: illegal immigration cannot be allowed, the borders
of the nation need to be secure, there must be a process for those who
are in the United States illegally to pursue legal status (that is not
amnesty), and that those who wish to work in the United States should
have a pathway to enter the country legally.
"Illegal immigration is bad for our nation. It is not good for us to
not know who is entering our country," they stated. The bishops also
noted the need to "be protected from drug smuggling, weapons smuggling,
human trafficking and violence."
Regarding the legalization of those who already in the country
illegally, the bishops said they are not advocating amnesty: "This
process must have proportionate consequences for the act of illegal
entry, consequences that would include fines, learning English, and
going to the 'back of the line' to seek citizenship."
"The tragic consequences of the failure of our nation's political
leadership to enact reform of our immigration system have included the
deaths of thousands of people," the note concluded. "Migrants -- women,
men, children in desperate circumstances -- have died trying to enter
our country. U.S. citizens have died because of crimes committed by
drug smugglers, people smugglers and weapons smugglers.
"We pray for those who have died and for their grieving families. And
we pray that our senators and representatives will put aside their
partisan divisions and go to work immediately to fix the broken
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