The decision by President Obama to use his executive authority to enact immigration reform has won praise from the religious community in the United States, with the move endorsed by a Catholic Church leader on a television program on Sunday.
Blase Cupich, who has recently been appointed Archbishop of Chicago, told the CBS program Face the Nation that the bishops within the United States are very supportive of the actions being taken by the president to help the country’s undocumented immigrants to finally emerge from the shadows. “It’s been too long of a time for people to wait for comprehensive immigration reform,” Cupich says. “And so we see this as an important first step hopefully to jump-start what’s happening.”
Republicans have been quick to attack Obama for his actions over the last week and Cupich admits that the president needs to work with Congress to pass a proper immigration bill, expressing concerns over what might happen if a future Republican president overturns Obama’s executive actions.
Cupich is the first archbishop in the United States to be appointed by Pope Francis. He is Chicago’s ninth archbishop and his views generally reflect those previously aired by the US Council of Catholic Bishops, which has called for a pathway to US citizenship to be offered to undocumented immigrants and for government autonomy over the process of law enforcement at the nation’s border.