As the U.S. Supreme Court begins hearing arguments on Arizona's controversial immigration law, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration, outlines what's at stake if the court allows states to set immigration policy rather than letting that rest with the federal government.
From Archbishop Gomez's Washington Post op-ed piece:
In a friend of the court brief submitted in the case, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops argues that the federal government is in the best position to balance competing goals of enforcing of immigration laws while upholding long-held American values such as family unity and human dignity. These values help define America as a nation. They should not be taken for granted.
State laws such as that in Arizona do not always honor these closely held values, long enshrined in immigration law. Indeed, these laws threaten to remove such humanitarian considerations from our immigration system altogether. This would be a tragedy for the individuals subject to these laws, but also for all Americans.
As a pastor, I am less inclined to speak to the legal principles involved in the case, but I am deeply concerned about the human consequences if Arizona’s law is upheld.
...Most disturbing, upholding Arizona’s law would change our American identity as a welcoming nation, which has served us well since our inception. The goals of Arizona-type laws are to discourage immigrants from coming and to encourage those who are here to leave. We must carefully consider whether that is the signal we want to send to the world, given that immigrants and their ancestors—all of us—built this country and will continue to renew it.Read the full article HERE.