"A reformed system can protect human dignity and the homeland at the same time," he concluded.
In their 2003 pastoral letter, "Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) outlined several policy goals for immigration reform, many of which are consistent with the framework outlined today by the U.S. Senate:
- A path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented in the nation;
- The protection and enhancement of the family-based immigration system, including the reduction in backlogs and shortening of waiting times for husbands and wives and their families;
- A program which allows low-skilled migrant workers to enter and work in the United States legally and safely and includes appropriate wage and worker protections;
- The restoration of due process protections for immigrants removed by the 1996 Illegal Immigrant Responsibility Act; and
- Policies which address the root causes, or push factors, of irregular migration, such as the absence of living wage jobs in sending communities and persecution.
More information can be found at www.justiceforimmigrants.org.
SOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops