Bishop asks Congress to reject 'discriminatory' immigration bill

By Rhina Guidos

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Calling a proposed piece of legislation “discriminatory,”
the head of the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration called on the president and Congress
to reject a bill that seeks to drastically cut legal immigration levels over a
decade, and which also would greatly limit the ability of citizens and legal
residents to bring family into the U.S.

“Had this discriminatory legislation been in place
generations ago, many of the very people who built and defended this nation
would have been excluded,” said Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, chair
of the bishops’ migration committee.

In a news release late Aug. 2, he criticized the RAISE Act introduced earlier in the day by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Arizona, and David Perdue, R-Georgia.

Other limitations proposed by the RAISE Act would
permanently cap the number of refugees allowed safe passage, “thereby denying
our country the necessary flexibility to respond to humanitarian crisis,” said
Bishop Vasquez.

“As a church, we believe the stronger the bonds of family,
the greater a person’s chance of succeeding in life. The RAISE Act imposes a
definition of family that would weaken those bonds,” he said.

President Donald Trump said earlier in the day he backed the bill and said it would reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayer money. Bishop Vasquez said the bill would be detrimental to families and negates contributions of immigrants to the U.S., and he called on Congress and the administration instead “to
work together in a bipartisan fashion to enact into law comprehensive
immigration reform.”

“I believe that such reform must recognize the many
contributions that immigrants of all backgrounds have made to our nation, and
must protect the lives and dignity of all, including the most vulnerable,” said
Bishop Vasquez.

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Follow Guidos on Twitter: @CNS_Rhina.

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