STATEMENT OF THE CATHOLIC CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS
RE: Meeting on Immigration at Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert’s Office May 26, 2006
A delegation of concerned Illinois Catholics and officials of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, headed by the Most Reverend Gustavo Garcia-Siller, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, met on Wednesday, May 24, in Washington, D.C. with Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert and other congressmen to discuss the important issues being debated in the ongoing effort to reform our nation’s immigration system. The other congressmen in attendance at the meeting were Henry Hyde of Illinois, Peter King of New York and James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin.
During the meeting, the delegation discussed the United States bishops’ support for a comprehensive immigration bill, rather than an enforcement-only approach. They also conveyed some specific concerns that the bishops have about measures contained in the House-passed bill on immigration.
The delegation also asked for a continuing dialogue on immigration reform that will help resolve difference between the House-passed legislation and the immigration bill that is pending in the U.S. Senate. The ultimate goal is to provide the nation with an immigration policy that protects our nation’s security; removes incentives for people to migrate to the United States illegally; enhances our nation’s economic well-being; and provides justice and compassion to those who came to the United States to find work, avoid political persecution, or to be united with their families.
After the meeting, Bishop Gustavo stated that “the delegation wished to express its appreciation to Speaker Hastert, Mr. Sensenbrenner, Mr. Hyde and Mr. King for their willingness to hear again the concerns of the USCCB and local Catholic leadership.”
Contact Robert Gilligan, Executive Director, Catholic Conference of Illinois at (312) 368-1066 for further information.