Our nation’s ongoing failure to address the immigration crisis is a humanitarian tragedy.
For more than a decade, state and local governments, Congress, the President, the courts — and now the highest court in the land — all have failed in their responsibilities to address this issue.
In the wake of today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, I call on President Obama and Congress to agree to halt deportations pending the outcome of the national elections this fall. This would be a humanitarian gesture that would provide temporary relief and peace of mind to millions of our brothers and sisters, including millions of children.
Now is once more the time for moral leadership and political courage. We need to reject all those who would exploit this issue for their own partisan advantage — and we should be clear that both parties continue to be guilty of this.
We need comprehensive immigration reform now. This is not a matter of politics, it is a matter of defending human rights and protecting human dignity.
Immigration is about people. It is a sad sign of our political moment that we need to keep reminding ourselves about this.
We are talking about brothers and sisters with faces and names and families and stories — just like every one of us. Often their journey has been hard and they have suffered poverty, exploitation and sorrow. Many have been forced to leave behind loved ones — parents, spouses, children.
Immigration reform is an issue of conscience and national identity. We need to remember where we came from. Almost every American is the son or the daughter of someone who came to this country from somewhere else. Our humanity will be judged by our response to this new generation of immigrants.
To our immigrant brothers and sisters who are suffering from the cruelty and uncertainty caused by this broken immigration system: please know that the Catholic Church will never abandon you. You are our family. We will continue to accompany you and support you and defend your inalienable rights and dignity as children of God. I entrust all of you to the maternal care of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the mother of Jesus and the mother of all of us.