President Obama was recently at the Vatican during his European trip and met with Pope Francis. Among other issues, the two leaders discussed the topic of immigration reform in the U.S. Now, a delegation of Roman Catholic leaders have scheduled a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border to “raise awareness about the plight of immigrants and to pray for policy changes.”
The visit will include a walk along the border and a Mass will be conducted near the fence which separates the two countries. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, an adviser to Pope Francis will join members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at the events. Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Tucson Diocese said that the purpose of the visit is to “raise consciousness about the need for our president and Congress to pass immigration policy and reform to address a broken system.”
In addition, these Catholic leaders will meet with U.S. Border Patrol personnel in order to gain a better understanding about the “dangers and challenges agents face daily while patrolling a region besieged by drug smugglers and human traffickers.”
Another purpose of the visit is to acknowledge that there are tragic deaths occurring along the border each year. The conditions along the U.S.-Mexico are often harsh, to say the least. These and other Catholic leaders believe that the majority of immigrants are just looking for better lives and better jobs in the U.S. Some are willing to die for it.
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle and chairman of the conference's Committee on Migration said that it is important to remember the human aspect involved with this issue. "What we fail to remember in this debate is the human aspect of immigration — that immigration is primarily about human beings, not economic or social issues," he commented.
As many of you know, the recent immigration reform bill, S. 744, was passed by the Senate, but has since stalled in the House. This has been going on for months now. Recently, Democrats in the House tried to have a vote on a comprehensive immigration bill. However, many feel that this attempt will fail because we are in an election year.
Meanwhile, during his meeting with Pope Francis, President Obama commented that he would still like to see immigration reform passed. At a news conference, he stated that there is “still an opportunity for us to make this right and get a law passed.”
Immigration reform is a constant political battle. Unfortunately, it does not seem that there is any real end in sight. Immigration reform, along with immigration law, is quite detailed and can be confusing at times.
If you are facing immigration issues in Arizona, do not think that you have to deal with the process on your own. My associates and I have helped many immigrants and their families get past their legal troubles. We can help you, too. Do not hesitate to call my Tucson office and we can schedule a consultation.