February 3, 2014 — On Jan. 29, House Republican Leaders set forth their stance on immigration reform in a one-page document called “Standards for Immigration Reform.” These standards recognize a need to reform our current immigration system; however, the standards also leave many unanswered questions for millions of our undocumented community members.
“As Jesuits and Catholics we evaluate each policy proposal in light of its impact on the most vulnerable members of our society,” said Jesuit Father Thomas P. Greene, Secretary of Social and International Ministries at the U.S. Jesuit Conference. “We are thankful that Republican lawmakers recognize the plight of DREAMers, but much of the language in the other standards seems unresponsive to addressing the situation of undocumented immigrants and needs further clarification.”
In their current form, these standards signal an intent to devalue family unity, limit judicial and prosecutorial discretion, and advance seemingly unattainable border and interior enforcement metrics. Regrettably absent is a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented aspiring Americans who contribute to our economic vitality but live in the shadows. As the debate on immigration reform continues, we urge the House of Representatives to rethink the increased militarization and egregious overspending on the southern border region, and to focus instead on enhancing the transparency and accountability of immigration enforcement.
The Jesuit Conference of the United States position on immigration reform is available here.
The Jesuit Conference of the United States will continue to work with our elected officials until just, comprehensive, and humane immigration reform becomes a reality.