The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved (by a vote of 13 to 5) sweeping immigration reform legislation (S. 744). From the committee’s website, one can read the amended bill and other information. Click here.
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, applauded the committee’s action. He urged the full Senate to adopt additional amendments to S. 744 to improve the process whereby people can become citizens or reunite with other family members.
“The path to citizenship should be widened, so that the maximum number of persons can access it and come out of the shadows,” Archbishop Gomez said. “To leave a large population behind would defeat the purpose of the bill, which is to bring persons into the light so they can become full members of our communities.”
The USCCB has been working to shorten the amount of time an individual must wait to apply for permanent residency, to move forward the cut-off date for eligibility, and to ease income and work requirements.
Archbishop Gomez also expressed concern over cuts to the family-based immigration system, a hallmark of the nation’s immigration laws for decades.
“We must not abandon our focus on families, which are the backbone of our society,” he said. “Family unity, based on the union of a husband and a wife and their children, must remain the cornerstone of our nation’s immigration system.”
The full Senate is expected to consider the bill in June.