In response to the failure of Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the summer of 2007, the executive directors of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) said in a joint statement:
“The status quo is morally unacceptable, as millions of immigrants are relegated again to the shadows in our nation.”
The passage of the recent draconian enforcement-only legislation in the state of Arizona and the introduction by Senators Schumer and others of a “Conceptual Proposal for Immigration Reform” once again bring to the fore the absolute necessity for Congress to act soon and comprehensively to fix our broken immigration system. As we said in our 2007 statement, a just and humane approach to immigration reform must include a path to citizenship, family reunification and protection of workers’ rights.
Our Catholic faith and the missions of many of our Religious Institutes emphasize the welcoming of strangers and taking the side of those who are marginalized by society. These religious values impel us to speak for a better immigration policy.
Our present system of immigration laws is unsustainable, and the need for reform is urgent. Clearly the United States has the right to control its borders, but we are a welcoming people, and hospitality has always been a core Gospel value. We need an immigration reform that expresses our deepest values and calls forth the best that is in us