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.

Play-doh Christianity and the Vanishing Cross

Image of Bell can have his happy-clappy, navel-centered religion and his wimpy god. He just can't call it Christianity, and he can't claim it's the Church.

By Jennifer Hartline

There is no Christianity without Christ, and no Christ without the cross. There was no need for the cross except for our Redemption, and no need for that except for our sin. To preach Christianity without preaching repentance from sin and taking up your cross is ... continue reading


Bella's Gift: The Santorum Book that Keeps on Giving Watch

Image of The book, Bella's Gift, has shaken me. On more than one occasion, it has forced me to my knees in tears. That is because, in a candid, honest, profoundly spiritual way, this splendidly written book puts the reader in the presence of unconditional love. then, through its deep spiritual truths, it unleashes the dynamic power of amazing grace.

By Keith A Fournier

I was with Rick Santorum at the Awakening Conference in Orlando, Florida. Rick and Karen Santorum are personal friends. Their whole family is a source of inspiration to me. But most especially, that little Princess named Bella Santorum. She is the center, the ... continue reading


McDonald's does the unthinkable - Big Mac Shop launches McFashion clothing line Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fast food conglomerate McDonald's had released its own fashion and lifestyle line, with the clothes full of Big Mac prints on them. The McFashion debuted on Tuesday in Sweden, in celebration of their most recent campaign, "I'm Lovin' It 24." Profit generated from the ... continue reading


Top Stories of the Week You Can't Miss Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

From a tragic airplane crash that killed 150 people to the blood of St. Januarius liquifying, this week in news has been quite a roller coaster. We saw nuns mob Pope Francis, a father lose seven of his eight children in a horrifying fire and the first announced ... continue reading


Majority of Latinos in United States speak English Watch

Image of  Latinos who only speak English are often ostracized by Latinos who only speak Spanish or are bilingual. Many Latinos, upon being hired for positions, are presumed to know and speak Spanish.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it would appear to some to be contrary, the majority of Latinos within the continental United States, 62 percent, speak English. A new analysis of the Pew Research Center's 2013 National Survey of Latinos has found that the current demographics will ... continue reading


The Christian Feast of the Annunciation is About More than Mary Watch

Image of The Annunciation: The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you. (Luke 1:26,27)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Walking along this Way of Yes, leads us into a dialogue, a conversation, a communion, a new Way of life, the Christian Way. By saying Yes, offering our own Fiat, we become consecrated and enlisted in the ongoing mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mary shows us that ... continue reading


Where's the most hate in the United States? A look into the top states with the highest amount of hate groups may shock you Watch

Image of There is hope. According to the center,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While California is typically known for laidback attitudes and acceptance of diversity - it comes as a shock to learn that the Golden State has the largest amount of "hate groups" across the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the ... continue reading


Fox News asks New York City's party district if they are proud to be an American: Watch their unbelievable responses (VIDEO) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fox News producer, Jesse Watters, took to the streets in the "party district" of New York City to sample the opinion a certain demographic has toward America. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As a part of Watters' World and The O'Reilly Factor, Watters asks people ... continue reading


What would you do to get your childhood back? People spend big money to find their inner child in adult preschool Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Preschool Mastermind is a preschool for the adults in Brooklyn; it started the first week of March and ends the last week. Students come in every week, trying to get in touch with the magical world they left behind as their childhood ended. However, this adult ... continue reading


'Meet the Animals' SeaWorld continues to fight negative publicity from 'Blackfish' with new campaign Watch

Image of SeaWorld comes back to negative reviews with the

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. releases their new campaign, ahead of a book release by their former trainer John Hargrove. The company received a rapid decrease in audience attendance and revenue from negative responses after the release "Blackfish," a documentary ... 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, Ezekiel 37:21-28
21 say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I shall take the ... Read More

Psalm, Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12, 13
10 Listen, nations, to the word of Yahweh. On the ... Read More

Gospel, John 11:45-57
45 Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 28th, 2015 Image

St. Venturino of Bergamo
March 28: Dominican preacher and missionary crusader. A native of Bergamo, ... 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