WASHINGTON—Yesterday, the U.S. Senate agreed to S. Con. Res. 14, setting forth the budget for the United States government for Fiscal Year 2022 and providing budget reconciliation instructions to various committees of Congress. Included among the instructions is funding for the Committee on the Judiciary, in part, to provide “lawful permanent status to qualified immigrants.” The House of Representatives will also need to adopt the concurrent resolution before both chambers of Congress eventually consider a budget reconciliation bill. Yesterday’s action follows Senate passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on August 10, which Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, addressed in a .
Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s adoption of the budget resolution:
“While Catholic social teaching is implicated by many components of the budget resolution, we are pleased that the resolution sets up an opportunity for many undocumented persons to receive legal status. For decades, the bishops of the United States have been proponents of such reforms.
“Undocumented people living in the United States are frequently at risk of mistreatment and exploitation because they lack legal status. Deporting millions of long-time residents would be unworkable and only serve to fragment families and harm local communities, especially when so many have U.S.-citizen children and spouses, own homes and businesses, and serve as essential workers. As Pope Francis has , reaffirming his predecessors and supported by the U.S. bishops, integration into society is the moral solution for these persons.
“Ultimately, a more comprehensive reform of our immigration system is needed, but ensuring access to permanent legal status and citizenship for the undocumented is an essential step. We call on the House to adopt the legalization instructions in S. Con. Res. 14 and for Congress to include provisions in the forthcoming budget reconciliation bill that would, at a minimum, legalize with a path to citizenship Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure holders, undocumented agricultural workers, and other undocumented essential workers.”
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