Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Archbishop Josť H. Gomez

4/29/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Islamic State's seduction, recruitment of Americans under scrutiny Watch

Image of At least 25 Probable American recruits have been detained since January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. prosecutions of would-be recruits to Islamic State has grown exponentially. ISIS has used both brutality and perceptive propaganda to attract members worldwide, in ways that are far more sophisticated than al-Qaeda and other jihadist adherents. LOS ... continue reading


'Man of peace, tenacity and courage,' Cardinal Francis George dies aged 78 Watch

Image of Polio during childhood had left the prelate with a weakened leg and a pronounced limp throughout his life. With his death, the College of Cardinals has 223 members, of whom 121 are under 80 and thus eligible to vote for a pope.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retired Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George has died after a decade of battling cancer at the age of 78. The first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, he is being remembered as "a man of peace, tenacity and courage" by his successor Archbishop ... continue reading


Genetic rescuing considered for shrinking wolf population on remote Michigan island Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are only three wolves left on Isle Royale, a small island in Michigan Lake's Superior, according to biologists. Researchers said that they do not know what to do or what should be done in order to save the wolves from dying and disrupting the ecology. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Another scandal shakes Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions as IRS reports she took millions from foreign governments Watch

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken another hit to her reputation with new information coming out that could compromise her chances at becoming president or even the Democratic nominee. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Recent information has ... continue reading


Controversial 'Killing Jews is Worship' posters soon to be seen plastered around New York City Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After being the center of a legal debate, posters with the statement, "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah" are going to soon be seen plastered on New York City buses and subways due to the victory of American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) against ... continue reading


Where will the next big quake be? It may not be in California Watch

Image of The American midwest is seeing a rise in the number of earthquakes, likely caused by fracking for oil and natural gas.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Central and eastern portions of the U.S. have been suffering from a spate of earthquakes over the last few years, and the U.S. Geological Survey believes that human activity may be responsible for this uptick. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Geological ... continue reading


Bishop Robert Finn's resignation officially accepted by the Vatican Watch

Image of Bishop Finn served a two-year suspended sentence and the diocese was fined $1.1 million. Finn remained at his administrative duties until just recently and did not serve any jail time as a result of the conviction.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican has announced the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph. "The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert W Finn from the pastoral governance" of his diocese, the Vatican said in a statement. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'Spill all of their blood' Suburban American girl joins ISIS, encourages others to terrorize 'non-believers' Watch

Image of Hoda Muthana was described as a quiet girl in school.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hoda Muthana, 20, shocked her entire suburban community when she joined the extremist Islamic State back in November. Muthana was allegedly brainwashed by the terrorist group when she fled to Syria using her university tuition fee. The young American refused to go back ... continue reading


5.3 MILLION chickens euthanized on Iowa farm as bird flu epidemic devastates Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The H5N2 bird flu virus took its biggest toll on a farm in northwest Iowa, in Osceola County. There are seven other Midwestern states that have been hit by the virus. The number of deaths in chickens and turkeys caused by the bird flu virus has been counted to around ... continue reading


Defend Marriage! Sign the Pledge in Solidarity for Marriage, Join the March

Image of Did you read that these defenders of marriage faced tear gas and clubs from the riot police of the French Socialist regime? They sang La Marseillaise, the French National Anthem, and called for the resignation of the President. Most US news sources did not even report on the Paris March. It was led by a growing movement in France called La Manif  Similar marches have occurred in Taiwan and around the world.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

One of the leaders I have the privilege of calling my friend is a great evangelical Christian and constitutional lawyer named Mat Staver. Mat is the Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action.  We have joined together on many fronts, ... 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, Acts 4:8-12
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 21, 29
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:11-18
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays ... Read More

Reading 2, First John 3:1-2
1 You must see what great love the Father has ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 26th, 2015 Image

St. Cletus
April 26: St. Cletus was the third bishop of Rome, and succeeded St. ... 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