Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Archbishop Josť H. Gomez

4/29/2013 (2 years ago)

The Tidings (www.the-tidings.com)

This is shaping up to be the summer of immigration reform.

Many of us have forgotten our immigrant roots. But our Church has always been a Church of immigrants. In earlier generations, we welcomed newcomers from every nation in Europe. Today, we are still welcoming newcomers - but now most of them come from Latin America, Asia, Oceania and Africa.

Highlights

By Archbishop Josť H. Gomez

The Tidings (www.the-tidings.com)

4/29/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Archbishop José H. Gomez, Immigration, path to citizenship, migrants, social justice, amnesty, illegal immigration, legal immigration, border security, path to citizenship, Los Angeles


LOS ANGELES, CA (The Tidings) - I've spent most of this past week working on immigration issues.
As chairman of the U.S. Bishops Migration Committee, I've been working with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the U.S. Bishops' president, and many of my brother bishops to study the new comprehensive immigration reform legislation that has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

This is shaping up to be the summer of immigration reform. Hearings on the Senate bill began last week and debate is expected to continue until the bill is voted on sometime later this summer.

This will be a period of intense activity - both at the national level and locally here in Los Angeles. We have the nation's largest immigrant population, so we have a high stake in the outcome of these Congressional debates.

We will hold our annual Immigration Mass at the Cathedral on July 21. And throughout the coming weeks, our Office of Life, Justice and Peace will be working to educate and mobilize our parishes.

Many of us have forgotten our immigrant roots. But our Church has always been a Church of immigrants. In earlier generations, we welcomed newcomers from every nation in Europe. Today, we are still welcoming newcomers - but now most of them come from Latin America, Asia, Oceania and Africa.

This great Archdiocese of Los Angeles is a beautiful manifestation of our immigrant Church and nation - so many people, from so many countries, all coming here to be part of the American Dream.

We see the same patterns in Catholic communities throughout the United States. Our American Church is a family of God drawn from almost 60 ethnicities, nationalities and countries of origin.

Because we are an immigrant Church, this debate over immigration is a debate about the future of the Church and our Catholic people. The Mexicans and other Latin Americans at the center of this debate - the millions whose fate is being decided by our politicians - are mostly fellow Catholics.

Earlier this week, the U.S. bishops held a press conference on the reform legislation, which is known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.

This bill has many of the elements the bishops are looking for. The job now is to improve this legislation so that all can come out of the shadows and are able to pursue the American Dream.

We are concerned about the border-security "triggers" in the bill. These are certain conditions that must be met before undocumented immigrants could even apply for permanent residency or citizenship.

My brother bishops and I are deeply concerned about the security and sovereignty of our country. The Church has always taught that governments have the duty to defend and secure their national borders.

I lived for many years in Texas, which has our nation's longest border with Mexico, so I know these issues first hand. I agree with the Senators who drafted this legislation - we absolutely need to secure our borders to stem the flow of drugs and crime and to reduce risks of foreign terrorists entering our country.

But I also think we need to make sure that these "triggers" don't become "moving targets."

Our government has spent billions in recent years to build fences and increase monitoring and enforcement along our borders. Under this bill we would spend billions more.

My concern is that "security" is not something we can really measure. We can't have the lives and futures of millions of men and women depend on a political calculation of when and whether our borders are "secure enough."

So to me, it makes sense to pursue the two goals at the same time. We can find new ways to protect our borders and to document the people who come into our country. At the same time we can provide a generous path for those who are living in the margins of society to gain a legal status along their way to becoming American citizens.

Our nation will be far stronger and more secure when we find the political will to welcome this new generation of immigrants into the promise of America.

Let's pray for one another this week. And let's pray hard for our leaders and our country.

As a Church, let's show our leaders the way by continuing our beautiful work of welcoming the stranger - helping them to learn our history, language and values. Helping them to cherish and maintain their distinctive identities, cultures and faith while making their own contributions to the common spirit and culture of America.

Let us ask Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mother of the Americas, to open our hearts so that we build a world where no one is a stranger.

-----

Follow Archbishop Gomez at: www.facebook.com/ArchbishopGomez.

---

This story was made available to Catholic Online by permission of The Tidings (www.the-tidings.com), official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.



Comments


More U.S.

Staver and Fournier: Time for Civil Resistance and a New Alliance Watch

Image of We must stand up to unjust authority and openly declare that the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being.

By Mat Staver and Deacon Keith Fournier

We stand together in affirming that marriage is between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to new life and formative of the family. The family is the first cell of civil society and must be protected from governmental abuse and interference. No Court, ... continue reading


Meet the nun who calmed Wild West bad man Billy the Kid: Sister Blandina Segale Watch

Image of

By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News

Billy the Kid, a notorious bank and stagecoach robber of the Wild West, met his match in the most unlikely of people when he met Sister Blandina Segale. Santa Fe (CNA/EWTN News) - According to legend, and to Sr. Blandina's journal and letters, one of Billy the ... continue reading


New York Police Department reach extraordinary lengths to insure Pope's safety during visit Watch

Image of Quite unlike his predecessors, Pope Francis insists on meeting the faithful up close and personal. This presents special challenges to the NYPD.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The symbol of Christianity worldwide, Pope Francis' trip to New York City in late September presents a special challenge to the New York Police Department. The NYPD is going all out in order to protect the pontiff, almost to the point where "rush hour commuters ... continue reading


Mexican drug cartels fueling U.S. heroin epidemic Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The insidious Mexican drug cartels are having a massively detrimental effect on U.S. communities. The cartels have flooded the cities and suburbs with far more potent, less expensive heroin, sending overdose deaths skyrocketing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


African-American churches frequently targeted by arsonists Watch

Image of African American churches are targeted by arsons more than any other houses of worship. The ATF's results have been reported to a national database of church fires.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There have been 29 cases of churches being torched by arsonists in the United States this year alone. Frequently, African-American churches are set alight by arsonists because of racism, religious intolerance, or vandalism. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Anytime ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood threatened to be exposed with EIGHT MORE undercover videos Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The series of unfortunate events will keep on rolling for Planned Parenthood as the founder of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), David Daleiden, shared with conservative radio host Sean Hannity that there are eight more undercover videos that will reveal Planned ... continue reading


Remains of four early leaders of America uncovered in Jamestown with Catholic artifacts Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under the floor of a Jamestown church, four body remains of the earliest English colonial leaders in America were unearthed. One was identified as Captain John Smith's rival, who researchers speculate to be part of a secret Catholic cell because of some artifacts ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood caught in FOURTH VIDEO showing the horrific practices of selling aborted baby organs

Image of Dr. Savita Ginde, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains' Vice President and Medical Director, standing in the harvesting lab.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another new Planned Parenthood expose video has been released, making this the second video this week and the fourth revealing hidden camera video in total. The Center for Medical Progress claims to have hours upon hours of footage exposing Planned Parenthood of ... continue reading


AMC movie theaters issue warning to moviegoers urging them to stay vigilant during visit Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A unusual video message is being played at AMC Theaters in Central Florida, urging the audience to keep their eyes open to any bad agendas and malicious or suspicious actions within the establishment. The short film came to be after violent incidents inside movie ... continue reading


A massive 30,000 more immigrants expected to arrive to U.S. before year's end Watch

Image of Illegal immigrants continues to cross the U.S. border.q

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The number of illegal immigrant children and teens in the United States continues to increase. The United Nations and other humanitarian groups predict that a total of 30,000 more are expected to reach the U.S. before the year ends. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Numbers 11:4-15
4 The rabble who had joined the people were feeling ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 81:12-13, 14-15, 16-17
12 So I left them to their stubborn selves, to follow ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:13-21
13 When Jesus received this news he withdrew by boat ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Lydia Purpuraria
August 3: Lydia Purpuraria (1st century) was born at Thyatira (Ak-Hissar), ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter