Thursday, December 9, 2010
Is here. Bishop Gomez observes:
Under the DREAM Act, deserving immigrant youth can adjust to permanent resident status provided that they entered the United States before age sixteen, have been physically present in the United States for not less than five years, demonstrated good moral character, have no criminal record and do not threaten national security, and have earned their high school diploma. This bill also offers students a fair opportunity to earn U.S. citizenship if they commit to and complete at least two years of college or two years of honorable service in the military.
Importantly, this legislation will apply to students in both public and private education, including those attending Catholic schools.
It is important to note that these young persons entered the United States with their parents at a young age, and therefore did not enter without inspection on their own volition. We would all do the same thing in a similar situation. The United States is the only country that they know. They have incredible talent and energy and are awaiting a chance to fully contribute their talents to our nation. We would be foolhardy to deny them that chance. . .
In my view, it is unfortunate and unhelpful that the political base, and leadership, of the Republican Party seems (for now, in any event) to have (in contrast with the approach taken in the past by, e.g., President Bush and Sen. McCain) set itself against this measure, and others like it. That the support for measures like this offered by some might be cynical and calculating, they (the measures) still strike me as sound and humane steps to take.
(Oh, dang. I went off-script. We conservative-leaning Catholics are supposed to be -- or so I am told by those who contribute to and comment at many religion-and-politics websites -- hackish tools of the Republican Party. Oops!)