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.



Comments


More U.S.

ACTIVE SHOOTER - Kids, teachers, community terrorized by admin, police at Thompson Jr. HS in Bakersfield in the name of safety? Watch

Image of Terrorization in the name of safety is still terror.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest school shooting did not make the national news yesterday because allegedly it was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated against kids and a working-class community in the name of safety. For about 30 minutes on Tuesday, students, faculty, and their parents ... continue reading


Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


Catholic school forbids Hollywood lesbian drama from shooting on location Watch

Image of In the scene to be filmed at the school, Moore's character, a New Jersey police detective with terminal cancer, applies for a domestic partnership with her partner, played by Page in order to pass on her pension legally after her death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While actresses Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are big names in filmland, their largesse didn't get them past the authorities at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York. The catholic school has declined their request to use their location for a ... continue reading


On the Feast of St. John Paul II, His Prophetic Warning to the U.S. Requires a Response Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier standing under the beautiful bronze statue of John Paul II in Denver, Colorado.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. - We are now standing in the face ... continue reading


Guest Commentary by Ken Blackwell: Houston's Mayor is Endangering Civil Rights

Image of Ken Blackwell

By Ken Blackwell

In Houston, Texas, we have seen a bizarre twist on traditional Civil Rights play out. The Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, has been waging an uncivil war on people who oppose the far-reaching homosexual rights ordinance she powered through the City Council. That ... continue reading


Suspected Indiana serial killer foiled by text messages Watch

Image of Darren Deon Vann is suspected in the death of a woman in Hammond - and possibly six more in neighboring Gary, possibly even more.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Darren Deon Vann told Indiana Police he "messed up" and expressed surprise that he was found so quickly, in the biggest understatement in recent memory. Vann is suspected in the death of a woman in Hammond - and possibly six more in neighboring Gary, possibly ... continue reading


United States developing quick-strike team to deal with Ebola Watch

Image of The U.S. Ebola strike team will include five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In response to the crisis in Dallas, the United States is developing a 30-person "quick-strike team" in order to attend to the needs of Ebola patients within the U.S. The team will be under orders to deploy within 72 hours at any time over the next month. The ... continue reading


After 21 days, the family of Thomas Eric Duncan are Ebola free Watch

Image of Thomas Eric Duncan's family, including his fiancee and her son and nephews, are nearing the end of their 21 day quarantine. So far, none of the four have developed Ebola like symptoms.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fiancee of Thomas Eric Duncan-the first man diagnosed with Ebola in the United States-is nearing the end of a 21 day quarantine, and she and her son and two nephews are grateful that this period is coming to an end. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - If ... continue reading


Supreme Court backs Texas' war on voter fraud Watch

Image of The U.S. Supreme Court has backed a 2013 Texas law that requires voters to show ID before they submit a vote.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Supreme Court has given Texas the go ahead for a law that requires voters in the state to show certain forms of identification before they are able to cast a ballot. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The October 18 decision came from a majority of ... continue reading


Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Synod on the Family: Duc in Altum

Image of Lorenzo Lotto's depiction of the Holy Family's rest on the flight into Egypt.

By Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Christians today in most parts of the world find themselves in a world much like the one inhabited by the first Christians - rampant sexual license, abortion, contraception, family break-down.  Those early Christians took a counter-cultural stance, echoing ... 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, Ephesians 3:14-21
14 This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
1 Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53
49 'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2014 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a ... 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