While acknowledging that the issue is complex, Pope Benedict XVI nonetheless offered his clear and unmistakable support to the USCCB's efforts to get Congress and the White House to pass comprehensive immigration reform. During his final address of the ad limina visits by US prelates, Benedict said:I would begin by praising your unremitting efforts, in the best traditions of the Church in America, to respond to the ongoing phenomenon of immigration in your country. The Catholic community in the United States continues, with great generosity, to welcome waves of new immigrants, to provide them with pastoral care and charitable assistance, and to support ways of regularizing their situation, especially with regard to the unification of families. A particular sign of this is the long-standing commitment of the American Bishops to immigration reform. This is clearly a difficult and complex issue from the civil and political, as well as the social and economic, but above all from the human point of view. It is thus of profound concern to the Church, since it involves ensuring the just treatment and the defense of the human dignity of immigrants.
I am anxious to hear those prominent Catholics who have endorsed the candidacy of Mr. Romney - Professor Glendon et al. - explain how Romney's support for "self-deportation" and for both the Arizona and Alabama anti-immigrant laws, reflects this clear statement of the Holy Father's. I would even welcome an honest admission that Romney is wrong on this issue. My guess is we will hear nothing but, in this instance, silence is not golden. Silence condemns millions of our fellow Catholics to a life of stress and exploitation.