Bishop Jaime Soto, President of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops, issued the following statement following the US Supreme Court’s inaction on the Administration’s DACA/DAPA immigration order:
Once again political dynamics in the United States are endangering the lives of millions of our brothers and sisters. By our failure to address comprehensive immigration reform, we leave millions of migrants in a perpetual uncertainty and we perpetuate a climate of uncertainty, distrust and confusion.
In its inability to reach a decision in United States v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court exemplifies a long and destructive cycle of hyper-partisanship that is stymying our nation’s progress not just in immigration but also in many other areas of our public lives. The common good – something we all must strive to advance – is suffering.
In California, a state in which immigration has enriched us and helped us build diverse, thriving communities, we are finding unique and promising ways to integrate our brothers and sisters into their new land. Efforts to increase naturalization, allow for the purchase of health care services and other advances promise progress – at least in the Golden State if not in the nation as a whole.
The Bishops of the United States have long advocated for our elected leaders to address comprehensive immigration reform. Such a program should include a means toward legalization, a future work program, family-based reform, a return to due process, attention to the root causes of migration and appropriate and proportional enforcement.
This reform is more urgent now with the Supreme Court’s inaction. Our current system is offering little more than indifference or fear to those who aspire for a more inclusive America.
It is time for our elected representatives to bring reason back into this urgent agenda, to seize the opportunity to legislate for what makes sense and gives strength to America – a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
“Immigrants, new to our shores, call us out of our unawareness to a conversion of mind and heart through which we are able to offer a genuine and suitable welcome, to share together as brothers and sisters at the same table, and to work side by side to improve the quality of life for society’s marginalized members.” (Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, A Statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops)