Senator Ruben Diaz had a immigration rally this past Sunday. Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of New York Catholic Charities represented Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and me. We wrote the following letter in support of Senator Diaz’s rally:
October 2, 2011
Although we are not able to be present with you this afternoon because of parish Masses, we express our solidarity with you who have come together in the Bronx to stand with our immigrant sisters and brothers.
Thank you all for coming, and thanks to all those that have taken the necessary steps to bring us together today — religious and community leaders, and especially Senator Ruben Diaz. Today continues the necessary effort to raise up the need to fix our broken immigration system.
We have an obligation as a nation of opportunity, a nation of newcomers, to welcome the newcomer. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops fully supports the DREAM Act. This common-sense legislation would provide relief for so many youth that have been brought here by their parents, and are currently unauthorized to be here, by no fault of their own. It would create a path for legalizing their status and enable them to reach their dreams and lend their talents to this Nation of Immigrants.
We support genuine comprehensive immigration reform that deals with security, family unification, a pathway toward legalization and an overall fair and generous legal immigration policy. However, as we work for such comprehensive reform, we need to concentrate on policies and administrative remedies and reforms that support family reunification and provide relief for the most vulnerable immigration populations at risk of being deported — including the elderly, our youth and those with serious disabilities.
Families continue to be separated. Overzealous enforcement of immigration laws has created a spirit of fear that is pushing people back into the shadows.
Our faith and the wisdom of America call us to welcome the stranger out of charity and respect for the human person. We will continue to call for comprehensive immigration reform, and we call upon our elected officials to find opportunities for reform – both administrative and legislative – for those struggling to live a life of dignity and respect as we await full reform of our immigration system.
Our prayers are with you this afternoon. May God bless you and your families.
Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio
Archbishop of New York Bishop of Brooklyn