In letter to House, Catholic university presidents claim Congress has a “moral responsibility” to pass comprehensive immigration reform

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, July 18, 2013

Presidents from more than 90 Catholic universities nationwide sent a letter to Catholic members of the House Thursday, claiming that Congress has a “moral responsibility” to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Among the representatives who received the letter were House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who earlier Thursday endorsed a proposal that would grant citizenship to children brought to the U.S. by their parents illegally, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The letter was distributed by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, a voluntary association that represents more than 90 percent of accredited Catholic institutions of higher learning in the United States.

“Our broken immigration system, which tears parents from children, traps aspiring Americans in the shadows, and undermines the best values of this nation, is morally indefensible,” the letter reads.

Several of the presidents who signed the letter further highlighted Congress’ “moral responsibility” on a conference call to reporters Thursday.

“It really is time to step forward on an issue that makes practical sense and moral sense,” Daniel Curran, president of the University of Dayton, said.

Added Mary Lyons, president of the University of San Diego: “The bill will probably not be perfect. But we can’t wait. It’s our moral obligation to act.

The presidents on the also stressed the idea that by creating a pathway to citizenship it will help strengthen the economy and reduce the national debt.

“This is an opportunity to pass the gridlock that affects so many of our political discussions and embrace reform that is both generous to those who wish to participate in our nation and strengthen our economy and make us more prosperous,” Rev. John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, said.

“It opens the doors to this nation and makes us more secure by bringing more people out of the shadows and into the system and by welcoming new citizens and reducing the national debt,” he added, noting that the pathway to citizenship proposed in the Senate Gang of Eight’s legislation would reduce the debt by $200 billion as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.

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