Catholic Bishops to Join in Prayerful Solidarity with Immigrants and Renew Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform at Christ Cathedral

THIRD ANNUAL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA IMMIGRATION SUMMIT WILL OFFER PRAYERS OF SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY WITH IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES AND PROVIDE A VENUE TO DISCUSS SALIENT POLICY ISSUES CONFRONTING IMMIGRANTS AND THE CHURCH.

GARDEN GROVE, CALIF., (March 13, 2015) – The Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, The Most Reverend Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, and The Most Reverend Rutilio del Riego, Auxiliary Bishop of San Bernardino will join with hundreds of faithful advocates for the third annual Southern California Immigration Summit at the Christ Cathedral (13280 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove) on Saturday March 14, 2015, from 1 – 2:30 p.m. The Bishops and faithful present will offer prayers in solidarity with marginalized immigrants seeking compassion from a broken immigration system and discuss concrete action regarding the “deferred action” program, how to effectively support the needs of immigrant communities in Southern California and also call on our elected leaders to redouble their efforts in enacting comprehensive immigration reform that respects the inherent dignity of the human person.

“I am blessed to welcome my brother Bishops and the faithful from across our state to the Christ Cathedral to reinforce our commit-ments to caring for our immigrant communities. As faithful leaders we see daily the damage our broken immigration system has inflict-ed on families and the vulnerable. The Bishops of California and all people of faith continue to prayerfully advocate for comprehensive immigration reform that respects the inherent dignity of the human person. Saturday’s event will provide an important point of unity and discussion as we continue our sustained efforts on behalf of the most vulnerable,” said Bishop Vann.

Previous summits held have resulted in coordinated efforts by the three participating Dioceses to organize and hold information and action sessions regarding immigration reform at many parishes across Southern California. Additionally, a training and education program that has helped thousands understand and take advantage of their new driving privileges under AB60 was launched through this important partnership between the Dioceses.

Each day in Catholic parishes, social service programs, hospitals, and schools the human consequences of a broken immigration sys-tem are apparent. Families are separated, migrants exploited by un-scrupulous employers and smugglers, and children lack access to educational opportunities. Moreover, as the United States benefits from the hard work of undocumented workers, the country does not extend them basic workplace or legal protections and they often serve as scapegoats for social ills. It is important to remember that this is not just a matter of one ethic group (e.g. Hispanics) as is often portrayed, but touches all ethnic groups. For Catholics, these are is-sues of human rights and are at the core of the Church’s social teachings.

Because of its harmful impact on human life and human dignity, the U.S. bishops have taught (Justice for Immigrants) that the status quo is unacceptable and have, for many years, called for comprehensive reform of the U.S. immigration system. The necessary elements of a reform have been stated as:

  • An earned path to full legal status, and eventual citizenship, that is reasonable and attainable;
  • Provision for immigrants brought here as minors to swiftly gain legal status to continue their education and enter the workforce;
  • The reduction of immigration application backlogs so that families may be united more quickly;
  • A temporary worker program that is safe, workable for families, and fair to all workers, immigrants and non-immigrants, alike;
  • Restoration of due process protections restored for all immigrants involved with the immigration justice system;
  • The protection of refugees and unaccompanied immigrant children; and
  • A way of addressing the root causes of immigration.

“The Dioceses of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino are gathering to talk about ways we can help our immigrant brothers and sisters at this crucial moment in our national debate on immigration,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez. “Right now, our immigration is bro-ken and it is hurting families and children and our economy. We need to come together as a nation to find a better way forward. That’s what this meeting is all about.”


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