Vatican Official Prods U.S. On Immigration Reform

Vatican official prods US on immigration reform, June 3, 2010

In a lengthy address delivered in Washington on June 2, Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, discussed various facets of migration to the United States, including immigration, human trafficking, and displacement induced by climate change.

Speaking to the Regional Consultation of the American Bishops' Conferences on Migration, Archbishop Vegli said that I follow with more than usual interest and admiration the courageous advocacy efforts of the USA Church for the regularization of the approximately 12 million undocumented migrants. Their existence will thus be recognized. However, should this also not be linked with a immigration reform which takes into account the demands of the labour market, and especially the continuing need for low-skilled workers?

One also has to realize that not workers will arrive, but human persons, with all its consequences, like living with their families, he continued. In order to achieve this, the necessary political will
is required to address humanely undocumented migration.

In his conclusion, Archbishop Vegli stated:

What is most fundamental is the courage not to turn away from the eyes of the poor but to allow them to break our heart and shatter our world. To let them share with us how their children fear and suffer from acts of violence, how it feels to live together for years in a crowded refugee camp under a plastic sheet without hope for a decent life, how it hurts to be dehumanized and not to be seen as a human
being, but as a number or a vulnerable. What is necessary to offer them perspective for the future? In concrete ways the Church in many countries is trying to answer this. Your efforts and activities are
illustrations of this.