Published April 22, 2014
U.S. Catholic bishops support key elements for any legislation to bring about comprehensive immigration reform, including:
A Path to Citizenship: Permitting undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship over time after paying a fine, learning English, working, and being placed behind those already in the permanent residency or “green card” line.
Future Flow Worker Program: Providing visas for unskilled workers to enter the United States and work on a temporary basis in important industries with appropriate wage and worker protections and an option for workers and their families to become permanent residents over time.
Family Reunification System: Reforming the system that currently takes years to reunite family members. Placing spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents in the same category as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.
Due Process Protections: Restoring judicial discretion in immigration proceedings and reforming mandatory detention laws.
Protection for Vulnerable: Repealing a one-year filing deadline for asylum-seekers, expediting family reunification for refugees, and appointing counsel for unaccompanied minors who enter the country.
Address Root Causes: Promoting sustainable economic development in the sending countries.