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Immigration Reform Good For Nation: U.S. Catholic Bishops

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The chairman of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, MSpS, a member of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit and auxiliary bishop of Seattle, has written on behalf of the committee regarding current immigration reform. In a blog post, Bishop Elizondo stated that a 1986 law, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), made life for immigrants better by lifting many out of poverty. He hopes new legislation will do even more good:

Passage of immigration reform in 2014 likely would have the same impact. Because of their lack of legal status, approximately 20 percent of undocumented workers (and their families) in low-skilled industries today live below the poverty line. A University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) study showed that for the three years following a legalization program, undocumented workers would experience an increase in net income of $30 to $36 billion. This would have benefits for all U.S. citizens because it would generate $4.5 to $5.4 billion in tax revenues and consumer spending sufficient to support nearly 900,000 jobs.

Immigration reform legislation also would help reduce the U.S. government’s deficit. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), enactment of S. 744, immigration reform legislation passed by the U.S. Senate, would reduce the federal deficit by $158 billion by 2023, due to increased tax revenue and economic activity.

Immigration reform is a win-win for both immigrant workers and their families and U.S. citizens.

Read “Immigration Reform Would Lift Immigrant Families Out of Poverty, Benefit Nation” at the USCCBlog.

Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.


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  • Skip Conrad

    The deficit reductions dont happen for 10 years according to the CBO. Meanwhile, the deficit will worsen. Ten years to wait for economic improvement!! It hardly seems worth it.

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  • Aleteia

    There are hundreds of millions of poor around the globe. It is not a solution to let them in the wealthier countries. I hope that the Catholic Church will not act like a govern with centralized power disregarding the opinion of the believers.

    • If you read Archbishop Gomez’ book, he addresses this issue quite clearly. We need to work on both immigration reform and economic development in order to solve this issue.

  • srlucado

    I have a question for the Bishops, with all due respect.

    Would it be okay to solve the priest shortage by having men just show up in parishes and start preaching? Let’s presume they know the liturgy, are sincere, and keep their marriages secret.

    If that’s not okay, then why not? If immigration “reform” in the guise of amnesty is such a great idea, why not have ordination “reform” and allow any man who wants to become a priest? Apparently the violation of civil law is no obstacle; why should violation of canon law be any different?

    At least there’s a demand for priests.