Five Catholic bishops yesterday took to Capitol Hill to again demand that Congress implements comprehensive immigration reform in the United States. John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, was the main target; Catholic Boehner has prevented the voting on the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in 2013.
The public message issued by the bishops was a direct and stark one. At the homily during the morning mass prior to the bishops meeting with a number of Congress members, Boehner included, Thomas Wenski, the archbishop of Miami, bluntly declared that the current immigration laws were nothing but “antiquated and inadequate”. “Our immigration system is a stain on the soul of our nation,” Wenski, who is chair of the US bishops’ committee on human development and social justice, said. “As a moral matter, it must be changed.”
The mass and lobbying was organized by the bishops as a follow-on from a similar mass held in Nogales on the border of Arizona last month, which was celebrated just a couple of feet away from the wall that separates the border between the United States and Mexico.
At the press conference that followed yesterday’s mass, which was held at St Peter’s on Capitol Hill, Seattle auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo declared that the bishops were forced to act over the issue of immigration because “every single human being is a brother and sister”.