Skip to comments.Tucson bishop: Illegal immigrants should learn English, ‘get in the back of the line’
Posted on 07/15/2010 1:50:38 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
July 15, 2010
Addressing the issue of immigration reform, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson told a congressional subcommittee on July 14 that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops [USCCB] wholeheartedly agrees that the rule of law is paramount, and that those who break the law should be held accountable. In a change of tone from previous bishops statements, Bishop Kicanas, who serves as USCCB vice president, added, Comprehensive immigration reform would honor the rule of law and help restore it by requiring 11 million undocumented to pay a fine, pay back taxes, learn English, and get in the back of the line. We believe this a proportionate penalty for the offense.
During his testimony, Bishop Kicanas called for immigration reform that provides a legalization program (path to permanent residency) for undocumented workers in our nation; reforms the employment-based immigration system so that low-skilled workers can enter and work in a safe, legal, orderly, and humane manner; and reduces waiting times in the family preference system for families to be reunited, according to a USCCB press release.
Immigration is ultimately a humanitarian issue, since it impacts the basic rights and dignity of millions of persons and their families, Bishop Kicanas added. We cannot accept the toil and taxes of immigrants without providing them the protection of law.
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Tucson Bishop Kicanas Testifies Before Congress, Urges Federal Action on Immigration Reform
Immigration, ultimately a humanitarian issue with moral consequences
SB 1070 reflects Arizonans and Americans frustration with Congress inaction
WASHINGTONBishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, Vice-president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, testified before Congress on the ethical imperative for reform of the U.S. immigration system. He spoke July 14, before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.
Bishop Kicanas, whose diocese runs along the whole of the Arizona-Mexico border, said he witnesses every day the human consequences of our broken immigration system, adding that [t]his is a situation which from a humanitarian and ethical stand point, needs to be addressed in a humane and comprehensive manner.
Though often dismissed by analyses that highlight the economic, social or legal aspects, immigration is ultimately a humanitarian issue, since it impacts the basic rights and dignity of millions of persons and their families. As such it has moral implications, he said. We cannot accept the toil and taxes of immigrants without providing them the protection of law.
Bishop Kicanas recognized the rule of law as a flashpoint in the debate.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wholeheartedly agrees that the rule of law is paramount, and that those who break the law should be held accountable, he said. As our testimony points out, comprehensive immigration reform would honor the rule of law and help restore it by requiring 11 million undocumented to pay a fine, pay back taxes, learn English, and get in the back of the line. We believe this a proportionate penalty for the offense.
He also said the bishops believe immigration reform will make the nation more secure, freeing up time and resources to concentrate on those coming who intend to do us harm. He praised both the enforcement and life-saving efforts of border patrol agents, but pointed out that decades of enforcement-only policies have not solved the border or the larger immigration problem.
Bishop Kicanas also addressed the issue of the passage of controversial Arizona SB 1070.
It is my belief that the passage of this law reflects the frustration of Arizonans and the American public with Congress for not addressing the issue of immigration reform. The message is to break the partisan paralysis and act now, he said.
The bishops oral testimony was accompanied by a more in-depth written testimony in which Bishop Kicanas summarized the U.S. bishops longstanding recommendations on immigration reform:
The testimony also listed the many perceived benefits of an earned legalization program and reform aspects that the Church finds problematic.
Full text of Bishop Kicanas' testimony can be found at http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/documents/kicanastest.pdf.
And then where will all the companies that hire illegals get that cheap labor from.
Oh my gosh. What a controversial and racist attitude!
Learn english and follow the laws for entry into the USA.
Where on earth do these racist and bigoted people come from????
He’s still calling for amnesty. He can kiss my rear end.
And just what line is the Bishop talking about, and precisely where is that line located? And what would the illegals do while supposedly in that line?
It tells us what sort of world we live in when this sort of duplicitous drivel comes from the mouth of a bishop.
No discussion of ‘comprehensive reform’ until the border has been secured for at least five years.
If they are going to force an amnesty program down America’s throat, at least put a provision in the law that those who receive amnesty can’t vote for 20 years. That will take a good deal of the steam out of the instant Democrat voter incentive.
I only have one problem with that. The “back of the line” is at the American Embassy in their home country. That is the immigration procedure and that would be following the rule of the law. Any other way and you can take your comprehensive and put it .....well, you know.
BS they want illegals legal because the majojority are Catholic and will add to their power and wealth. What is the Church doing in Mexico and other poor countries to get the people to obey the law and stay in their own country? What are they doing to encourage illegal immigration? Why? Why not let everyone in who wants to come to the US and not limit it to those geographically close?
Pay taxes and get at the back of the line? They will stay in the US at the back of the lineand work here, while those who obey the laws are outside the country waiting patiently in the legal line. It is a travesty not to mention there will be like last time massive fraud. 1986 estimated over 40% fraudulent amensty grants. How many people would it take to process and investigate 10 to 20 million applications? It is not possible to do anything but use a rubber stamp and verify nothing. Do you trust the Obama Administration to properly vet applicants for amnesty?
The Church should offer to help reunite the illegals back to their home country, not aid and abet their illegal entry here.
” Hes still calling for amnesty. He can kiss my rear end.”
They are lying, cowardly POS’s.
Some of them are pretty good. But as a whole, their position on illegal aliens is pathetic.
I disagree with the Bishop on letting in any low or non skilled immigrants, we have millions of home growns with little or no skills who are unemployed, give them the available jobs in those areas and then consider letting others in.
“De-emphasis of border enforcement” does not apply here. The good bishop is not a politician nor a policy maker. What he has done with this statement, however, is a giant stride forward in defining Church policy on “rule of law.” In other words, this is the most respectful the Church has been yet towards U.S. law. It is a huge step.
Now, I can’t wait for Cardinal Mahony to get the memo.
>> Tucson bishop: “requiring 11 million undocumented to pay a fine, pay back taxes, learn English, and get in the back of the line.”
Getting on the “back of the line” must be defined as going home.
Penalties & taxes implies the illegals remain.
No one should be required to learn and speak English. On the other hand, taxpayers should not be forced to support ordinary, non-English public notices and documentation.
That is what I always think of when this debate comes up in relation to the church.
Not a chance! Baloney outranks him.
Bishop Kikanas is the incoming President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and you say that he is ‘not a policy maker?”
Moreover, I am a Catholic in the Diocese of Tucson and am very aware of the Bishops’ long term support of illegal immigrants and amnesty.
So, what do you think he should say, then? You don’t like what he said; can you explain why. I think it is an improvement over what we have heard from USCCB before. I’m not trying to be an expert on doctrine, but I don’t believe church leaders need to proclaim government policy. They need to lead the church, i.e., the people in their spiritual life.
I see his statement as valuable in that it clarifies the Church having respect for U.S. law and conveying that to the parishioners, saying it is in line with church belief that you respect the law also.
What he says is a far, far cry from Mahony calling the enacters and supporters of SB1070, “nazis.” That’s all I’m saying. I’m just a humble human giving my opinion, so please back off of aiming your tirade at me personally. Thank you.