Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago released the following statement in response to President Obama's announcement of relief for immigrant families. The original statement can be found on the Archdiocesan website: www.archchicago.org.
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November 26, 2014
In concert with my brother bishops throughout the United States, I want to extend my gratitude and support of the Presidents recent announcement of administrative relief for immigrant families, affecting as many as 4.5 million of the current 12 million immigrant men, women and children who are now living among us.
Since 2001, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and local Catholic groups have worked tirelessly in support of the immediate needs of immigrants, in support of families separated by deportation. Priests for Justice for Immigrants, the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, Pastoral Migratoria, the Polish Immigrant to Immigrant Ministry, the Immigration Parish Coordinators in non-immigrant congregations and dedicated people of faith from many parishes across the Archdiocese have worked tirelessly for these families. There have been prayerful and peaceful advocacy efforts to change the hearts and minds of legislators to repair our broken immigration system. Many of our brothers and sisters from other faith traditions have also been working tirelessly, sharing in our common goal to alleviate suffering, dispel fear and to remove the barriers that prevent so many hard working men, women and their families from being able to pursue their God-given potential and fully share their God-given gifts.
This is a time for momentary celebration, a time to give thanks for a first step toward immigration reform for all of those who are being granted this relief. It is also a time to mobilize our communities to assist in helping those affected by the Presidents actions to realize the full benefit of what is being offered. Our Archdiocesan Office of Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education will be preparing parishioners to assist immigrants in our parishes and surrounding communities in this process.
However, we must not forget that there are millions of people left out of these recent relief decisions, still forced to live in the shadows.
Therefore, we must continue to support these efforts nationally and locally until Comprehensive Compassionate Immigration Reform is achieved for all. I pledge to continue to work with my brother Bishops through the Catholic Conference of Illinois, and in our local Archdiocese, continuing the long legacy of support of my predecessor, Cardinal George.
The efforts of so many advocates have focused on accompaniment and advocacy for immigrants to achieve a compassionate and comprehensive pathway to citizenship. I ask every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Chicago to continue to pray for our immigrant brothers and sisters. Gods dream for them is to live free of fear, free to offer their gifts and talents to their families, their communities and to the common good. We pray for all who are imprisoned and stripped of their dignity by the structures of sin in our society.
For more information, please visit the Archdiocesan Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education at www.catholicsandimmigrants.org.
Photo credit: (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World))