Act Today

Published on Jul 17th, 2013 by Austin Keith | 0

Catholic Bishops of Florida Issue Statement in Support of Immigration Reform;
Tell Parishioners ‘Now is the Time to Act’

Background:  For several years, Congress has been working on legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented persons working and residing in the United States. Currently, lawful immigration to the United States is restricted to only those with a qualified family member in the U.S., who are fleeing political persecution, or have advanced degrees in high-skilled professions. The Bishops believe immigrants should come lawfully, but current laws do not adequately support family reunification nor the country’s need for labor.
In June, the U.S. Senate passed S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Competitiveness and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 by a 68-32 vote. This legislation provides for increased border security and several steps to be completed over a 13 year period in order to achieve citizenship.
Now is the time for the U.S. House to pass comprehensive immigration reform that preserves family unity and protects workers from exploitation. Since legislation passed by the House will either be several separate bills or one with provisions that are not identical to the Senate bill, House members are urged to act now so the two chambers can reconcile the provisions in their bills this fall.
ACTION: Please [click here] to send a message to your member of the U.S. House of Representatives urging the House to follow the Senate’s lead and pass a comprehensive immigration bill.
Also, send both Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Bill Nelson a message to thank them for their work and their votes on the Senate immigration bill.
Statement from the Florida Bishops
In their statement, the bishops stress the need to act now to amend our nation’s immigration laws to safeguard the dignity and humanity of our migrant brothers and sisters. “Congress has the best opportunity in almost 30 years to pass immigration reform. This is a historic moment in our country. As Americans, we cannot let this moment pass,” said Florida’s bishops.  
The bishops ask that provisions in proposed legislation:
• Provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country;
• Preserve family unity by reducing backlogs and waiting times for family reunification;
• Protect vulnerable populations including refugees, asylum seekers and unaccompanied children;
• Address the root causes of migration, such as persecution and economic disparity.


The Florida Catholic Conference is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. It speaks for the Church in matters of public policy and serves as liaison to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.