A chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday called for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, citing remarks made by Pope Francis about the treatment of immigrants.
“I call upon the House of Representatives to pass comprehensive immigration reform which is just and humane,” said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez (of Los Angeles), who chairs the conference's committee on migration issues. “The current immigration system, which causes so much human suffering, is a stain on the soul of our nation.”
The pope over the weekend criticized a "globalization of indifference" when it comes to the status of migrant workers.
He also tweeted on the issue:
We pray for a heart which will embrace immigrants. God will judge us upon how we have treated the most needy.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) July 8, 2013
He was referring to those seeking to immigrate to Europe at the time, but Gomez said the lesson applies to the United States too.
“As the Holy Father has stated, too often our world is indifferent to the suffering of migrants, who are simply attempting to find a better life and escape persecution,” Gomez said.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops has said for the last decade that the immigration system is badly in need of reform, and it supports a path to citizenship.
It hasn't officially supported a piece of legislation, but Gomez praised the Senate's immigration bill as a positive step.