Thursday - Jul 18, 2019

Bishops urge lawmakers to pass immigration reform

by the El Reportero’s wire services


The Catholic bishops of U.S. and Mexico border dioceses have just concluded their bi-annual meeting and issued a statement of concern around the issue of deportation and how its affects families.

The Bishops noted “our concerns about the situation of millions of undocumented people who emigrate to the United States. We are particularly concerned about the involvement of many families who were separated due to the lack of a proper immigration reform. At present, those who suffer most are thousands of children and young people who are deprived of their parents and other family members.”

The Bishops are urging lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform and take into consideration the contribution made by immigrants, regardless of immigration status, to the U.S.

The plea from U.S. and Mexico border bishops comes on the heels of this past Sunday’s sermon where the issue of immigration reform was front and center. The Catholic Church has vowed to “pull out all the stops” in its support of immigration reform. Sunday’s sermon was one of the most high profile initiatives the Church has undertaken in support of immigration reform.

The bishops’ conference has called for research into the reasons why people decide to come to the U.S. and to find ways the Catholic Church can address the problems that motivate them to leave their own country. Mexican bishops are calling on the Mexican government to pass economic reforms that would create more jobs in Mexico that would remove the incentive for coming to the U.S.

California to provide drivers licenses to undocumented, bill awaits Governor signature

California legislators have approved a measure that will grant special driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. The measure that passed on the night of Thursday, Sept. 12, now needs the signature of Governor Jerry Brown, he is expected to sign the bill. The Governor who is an advocate of comprehensive immigration reform hopes that what California is doing sends a message to “Washington that immigration reform is long past due.”

The driver’s licenses will be specially marked to denote they cannot be used as identification to fly, to register to vote or to collect public aid. Many immigrant advocacy groups were opposed to the “Scarlet Letter” on the driver’s licenses. The licenses will have “DP” displayed in front versus “DL” that other driver’s who are documented have.

The legislation in some form or another has been around for early ten years. The political climate was right this time.

Assembly Bill 60 passed the California Assembly 55-19 and the Senate 28-8.

Last month California reached a demographic milestone when the number of Latinos matched the number of white non-Hispanics. Nearly 3 million residents in California are undocumented.

California joins New Mexico, Washington, New Jersey, and Illinois as states that grant driving privileges to the undocumented.