Naming all members of the church "people on a pilgrimage," Los Angeles auxiliary bishop Gabino Zavala called for the U.S. to respect the "dignity of our immigrant neighbors" today in a posting to the 'On Faith' section of The Washington Post's website.
Zavala, who is also the bishop president of Pax Christi USA, wrote as a 'guest voice' to address the controversial new immigration law in Arizona. Portions of that law, which originally forced immigrants to carry their documentation papers at all times, were struck down by a federal judge in late July.
From Zavala's piece: The Hebrew and Christian scriptures remind us time and again that God casts his tent among our most marginalized sisters and brothers. Throughout the Bible, God calls on us to stand with the outsider, the stranger, the excluded. Just last month, I stood with a young woman, Liliana, when she received a deportation order -- an order that would separate her from her husband and her children, all of whom are U.S. citizens. Liliana is a hardworking wife and mother who has contributed to our society and is beloved in her community, and now she's being forced to leave her life and her family. Today in our country, the outsiders and the excluded, those whose dignity is threatened daily, are the millions of immigrants living and working in the Unites States like Liliana, people "whose wages we have underpaid, whose provisions for healthcare we have resented, despite their back-breaking work to provide for our dinner tables," as Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles reminded us recently.