Washington – On September 15, the chairman of the U.S. Bishops Committee on Migration welcomed the decision by House members to include language in the $ 3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill to open up the path to US citizenship for recipients of the Deferred Action Program for the Arrivals of Children and Other Immigrants.
“We are delighted that the House Committee on Judicial Power has taken this important step, offering many undocumented people the opportunity to gain legal status and a path to citizenship,” Auxiliary Bishop Mario said. E. Dorsonville of Washington, who heads the United States. Conference of the Committee of Catholic Bishops on Migration.
“Without a doubt, Catholic social education will be involved in many aspects of this budget reconciliation bill, but it is a welcome step for many families and the common good,” he said in a statement. communicated.
Bishop Dorsonville added: âFor decades, the bishops of the United States have been supporters of such reforms, which promote integration and family unity. We cannot persist in relegating these members of our society to the margins, especially when we simultaneously depend on so many of them for our collective well-being. “
If the budget reconciliation bill is passed, the language on citizenship will apply to people covered by DACA, often referred to as âdreamersâ, as well as holders of temporary protection status, beneficiaries of delayed forced departure. and agricultural workers and other essential workers in the country. without legal authorization.
The full House of Representatives and the US Senate will need to incorporate this language into their respective final versions of the budget reconciliation bill; both houses will need to pass the bill and President Joe Biden will need to sign it before it goes into effect.
Language endorsed by the House Judiciary Committee was among several priorities that five USCCB committee chairs urged Senate and House members to incorporate into their respective final versions of the budget bill.
In a September 7 letter to all members of Congress, the committee chairs underlined several priorities: the integration of migrants and refugees; safeguarding jobs for the poor and vulnerable; strengthening families; expand access to early childhood education; ensuring âsafe, decent and affordable housingâ; take care of creation; preserve religious freedom; and respect for the rights and dignity of all human life in health care.
Besides Bishop Dorsonville, the other committee chairs who signed the letter were: Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Committee for Religious Freedom; Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Committee on National Justice and Human Development; and Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, Calif., Committee on Catholic Education.
“As we continue to work towards a more comprehensive reform of our immigration system – a system that recognizes and respects the dignity given by God to each person – we welcome this crucial step,” Bishop Dorsonville said in his statement. of September 15 on the bench of the House. Committee action.
Echoing the September 7 letter, he said: “We call on both the House and the Senate to include these provisions in the final reconciliation bill and on Congress to pass a bill that helps all who are on the margins of our society, strengthen families, protect religious freedom, promote care for creation, and respect the rights and dignity of all human life, from conception to natural death.