Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bishops support executive action on immigration | National Catholic Reporter

Bishops support executive action on immigration | National Catholic Reporter
by Thomas Reese, S.J.  |  Nov. 14, 2014 
 In a little noted letter, two bishops chairing committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have put the Catholic bishops on record supporting executive action on immigration. The letter places the bishops on President Barack Obama's side in his dispute with congressional Republicans, who are opposed to any executive action on immigration. 
The letter, sent on Sept. 9 with little fanfare, was addressed to Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, with copies of the letter going to Dennis McDonough, chief of staff to the president, and Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. The letter was signed by Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chair of the Committee on Migration, and Bishop Kevin Vann, chair of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. 
The conference issued no press release to publicize the letter and I cannot find it on the USCCB website. The letter asked for executive action "to protect undocumented individuals and families as soon as possible, within the limits of your executive authority." "With immigration reform legislation stalled in Congress," the letter said, "our nation can no longer wait to end the suffering of family separation caused by our broken immigration system." 
 The Republican leadership in Congress has said any executive action by the president on immigration would poison future cooperation on any topic. The bishops urge that some major problems on immigration be dealt with through by executive action. These would not be considered minor items by either the administration or Congress."

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