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US Catholics Support Immigration Reform

04/19/13

Nearly eighty percent of Catholic voters support earned citizenship

WASHINGTON­­—A large majority of Catholics support immigration reform legislation that provides a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, according to a recent survey sponsored by the Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Overall, 77 percent of Catholic voters support a proposal that allows earned citizenship through meeting requirements like registration, paying a fine, paying taxes and taking English classes, the survey shows.

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, embraced the results of the survey. “It is clear that Catholics understand the importance of this issue,” Archbishop Gomez said. “As an immigrant church, Catholics from all walks of life understand the migration experience and accept the Gospel’s call to welcome the stranger.”

Most Catholics support the bishops’ call for the creation of an immigration system that respects basic human rights and dignity while ensuring the integrity of our borders, according to survey results. As immigration reform takes center stage in the public square, this data makes clear that the Catholic population is behind current efforts to reform the broken immigration system.

Archbishop Gomez called upon Catholics to engage their elected officials on behalf of immigration reform. “I encourage Catholics across the nation to contact their legislators in support of humane immigration reform, which would help our brothers and sisters come out of the shadows and become full members of our communities,” he said.