Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Statement of Most Reverend William Skylstad
President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
June 15, 2006
The U.S. Catholic bishops acknowledge that immigration is an emotional and challenging issue which has engaged the American public, including members of the Catholic faithful. We have heard from Catholics and others of good will who both agree and disagree with us on how best to respond to the immigration crisis our nation faces today.
Each day in our parishes, social service programs, hospitals, and schools we witness the human consequences of an immigration system which is seriously flawed: families are divided, migrants are exploited and abused by smugglers and human traffickers, and, in some cases, men, women and children who attempt to come here in search of a better life perish in the American desert and on the seas.
Because of these realities, we believe that the status quo is morally unacceptable and must be changed. Since our nation's immigration policy does impact the basic dignity and life of the human person, it needs to be reformed urgently to uphold human dignity and to protect human life.
On behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), we will continue to work with Congress and the President to enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation consistent with these principles. In the end, our immigration laws should be just and humane and reflect the valuesfairness, opportunity, and compassionupon which our nation, a nation of immigrants, was built.