The Catholic Bishops of Washington have issued a statement in support of comprehensive immigration reform. The Bishops are urging both the U.S. House and Senate to pass reform quickly. However the Bishops have serious concerns about the Corker-Hoeven Amendment, which calls for increased border enforcement.

"The U.S. Bishops have serious concerns with the amendment, most significantly its focus on enforcement  along the border.  While Catholic teaching supports the right of a sovereign to control its border, we are troubled that this dramatic expansion of enforcement resources could adversely impact border communities, not to mention make migrants more  vulnerable to smugglers and death in remote parts of the border"

"As we have stated in the past, we believe that addressing the root causes of migration, such as the absence of living wage employment in sending countries, is the long-term humane solution to the challenge of irregular migration. We urge Congress to consider these issues in the context of immigration reform."

The Bishops say the legislation also must be improved in the following ways.

1. The path to citizenship should be made more affordable and accessible for undocumented immigrants and their families;

2. Family unity should be enhanced in the legal immigration system;

3. A viable and robust program for low-skilled workers to enter and work legally should be included, with appropriate worker protections;

4. Due process protections, including alternatives to detention, should be restored to the system; and

5. The root causes of migration should be addressed.

The U.S. Catholic bishops will continue to work for improvements in the U.S. immigration system, now and into the future.

The Catholic Bishops of Washington includes the Rev. Joseph J. Tyson, Bishop of Yakima.