President’s Action on Immigration Will Help Families But Must Not Hamper Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento and President of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement with regard to the President’s Executive Action on immigration:

"Comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue in the United States. The Bishops of California welcome the President’s action to offer some humanitarian relief for hard-working families who have lived in the shadows for too long.

“As pastors we witness firsthand the needless strain and pain the broken immigration system has inflicted on our communities.   Respect for human life and dignity demands that our national leaders put people before politics. They should reform the immigration system, adhering to the traditional, sound principals of U.S. immigration: family unity, proper protection of our borders, and addressing the root cause of forced migration. An essential part of the solution should include a legalization program with an earned path to citizenship.

“We acknowledge that many will find some hope and peace-of-mind by this action. Parents and children will no longer live in fear of being separated. Growers and other employers will know their valued, productive employees are safe. Law enforcement will be able to work more closely with immigrant families to ensure the safety and tranquility of their communities. As we have done for many years through our Catholic Charities and other partners, we will continue to assist them in obtaining the benefits provided by law.

“We advise caution and patience while the details of the President’s order are carefully evaluated. With time, we will understand how the order will be implemented. Be wary of any unscrupulous attempts to exploit unsuspecting immigrants by offering quick solutions.

“We call on Congress and the President to work together toward a more comprehensive response to the humanitarian crisis of a broken immigration system. We will work with the California Congressional delegation and the President to accomplish that goal.”

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