On Sunday, June 18, we will celebrate our annual Mass in Recognition of All Immigrants at our Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
In preparation for the Mass, throughout the archdiocese we have been praying a novena focusing on the needs of immigrants, refugees and human trafficking victims. We are encouraging the faithful to share their stories on social media, using the hashtag #PrayForImmigrants. And we have established a new online resource for immigrants and advocates, TheNextAmerica.org.
In addition, on Friday, June 16, a group will make a three-day, 50-mile pilgrimage from Orange County to the cathedral, walking and praying for those suffering under our broken immigration system.
We are praying for the intercession of St. Junípero Serra — who himself came to this country as an immigrant from Mexico and helped to shape the moral and spiritual direction of our country.
We know that we will not make any progress until we make substantial reforms in our system.
For the Church, immigration reform has never meant “open borders” or “amnesty” for those who are in this country in violation of our laws.
The Church has always taught that every nation should have secure borders and every nation should be able to regulate how many people are let into the country, who they are and how long they are allowed to stay.
We are working to strengthen our country through common sense immigration reform that our country needs to grow and to welcome those who want to join us in the great American adventure.
Right now our visa system is too complicated and imposes quotas that make it difficult for American employers to find the workers they need — in areas ranging from the hi-tech sector to agriculture, and construction-related industries.
We need visa reforms in every area. We also need reforms to make it easier for religious workers from other countries to receive visas.
And we need to find ways to help the millions who are undocumented and have been living in our country for many years, working honestly and raising families — but who right now have no way to address their immigration status.
We have millions of men and women in our country who are undocumented, but are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents in this country. It only makes sense that we put in place a permanent visa system to allow these men and women to work and to make their contributions to our society.
And, of course, we have the “Dreamers” — those undocumented young men and women who were brought to this country as children or young adults. It is not right that these fine young people are made to live in a kind of “limbo” — without a home country and without a way to fully participate in our American life.
Full story at Angelus.