Thursday, June 27, 2013


On June 27 the U.S. Senate passed the most comprehensive immigration reform bill in decades.  The 68 to 32 vote shows strong bipartisan support.

I commend the Senators for turning back many amendments which would have created serious problems for many of the 11 million unauthorized persons living among us, but in the shadows of dignity, respect, and legal rights.

The U.S. Bishops Conference had been working with many in the Senate to improve the bill, especially in lessening serious hindrances for those attempting to apply and to qualify.  What is needed is a final bill which balances all of the needs and concerns for our country, as well as for these persons who work in a vast array of service jobs, in agriculture, in construction, in home care, in hotels and motels, and in all tourism industries.

Our next major challenge is to try to get the House of Representatives to adopt a bill which is similar to the one from the Senate.  But there has been so much rhetoric on the part of many in the House which is ominous, and which portrays a punitive approach to these 11 million brothers and sisters.

Now is the time for each of us to contact his/her House member urging a humane and just approach, and urging them to see the Senate bill as a good model and the basis for an eventual Conference Committee.

May the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph open the minds and hearts of the House members to bring about a just and lasting solution!