By: Caitlin Bootsma
In this past weekend’s edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bishops Loverde and DiLorenzo (of Richmond), tackled the complex issue of federal immigration policy in an op-ed. In the letter, they address the need for comprehensive immigration reform so that each immigrant is treated with respect and dignity. The op-ed is worth reading in its entirety, but here are a few highlights.
On why people immigrate to the USA:
“Around the globe, people yearn for better lives, a chance to escape poverty, jobs to feed their families, reunion with their kin or life in a country free of war. As it always has, America symbolizes the hope of a better life.”
The current conditions of undocumented workers as a result of an unsound immigration system:
“Thus, socially isolated and vulnerable to exploitation, these strangers among us are more likely to work for an unjust wage, less likely to become involved in their communities, or more reluctant to report crimes because they fear their immigration status will be detected.”
On the effect of immigration reform:
“Immigration reform will strengthen Virginia socially and economically. Immigrants, both documented and undocumented, contribute to our economy by purchasing goods and services and increasing state revenues through sales and income taxes.”
What sort of immigration reform do the bishops support?
“Together with our brother Catholic bishops throughout the country, we seek immigration reform measures that provide an earned path to citizenship; maintain the family as the cornerstone of our immigration system; restore due process to immigration enforcement policies; provide paths for low-skilled workers to enter the U.S.; and address the root causes of migration. We believe this can be accomplished while ensuring appropriate levels of border security and with proper respect for the rule of law.”
Read the rest of the letter here.