President Barack Obama gave a powerful speech tonight that highlighted the brokenness of our immigration system, the connection between fighting for families and enacting immigration reform, and the way welcoming immigrants reflects our faith and values.
President Obama deserves praise for his decision to take the first step in bringing relief and hope to millions of aspiring Americans and their families who are seeking a home in the United States. Since the beginning of this debate, the Catholic Church has been a leading advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. As we enter into the holiday season, we must all remember that Jesus himself was a child immigrant seeking a home and a future in a foreign country.
President George W. Bush first called for reform in 2007, but since that time, the United States Congress has not passed any significant immigration reform bill into law. After Speaker Boehner and his colleagues in the House failed to vote on the Senate-passed bill for over a year, the President had a moral obligation to act decisively.
Our nation’s history is that of an immigrant people, and starting tonight, there’s sufficient hope that our future will be as well. To our brother and sister immigrants who are seeking a permanent home in the United States, we echo the words of Pope Francis: “The Church is at your side as you seek a more dignified life for yourselves and your families.”