I was glad to see that Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput was dedicating his weekly column to the issue of immigration. I was less glad to read this sentence:
While the immigration debate in this country has burned on for years, Congress has consistently failed to pass adequate reform legislation. No single party bears the blame for the paralysis.
This is nonsense. One party, better to say, one wing of one party is to blame for the inability to pass comprehensive immigration reform last year and this: House Republicans. To claim otherwise is like suggesting both parties are to blame for the fact that late-term abortion remains legal in this country.
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I am also disturbed that His Grace talks about a "path to permanent residency" and "an opportunity to work toward permanent residency" when the USCCB has repeatedly stated that only a "path to citizenship" will suffice to make reform just. Indeed, above his column is a list of the USCCB's key points and a pathway to citizenship is the first one listed. Did +Chaput simply make an editorial slip? If so, it should be corrected. If not, he should explain his reason for thinking a pathway to permanent residency is sufficient.
Archbishop Chaput is not my favorite prelate. But, hey, in the spirit of Papa Francesco and in the dawn of a new year, let's look on the bright side. At least +Chaput did not argue that we should block immigration reform because once the undocumented get documents, they might become subject to the HHS contraception mandate!