Rick Santorum: 'Catholic Bishops Are Wrong to Call for Immigration Reform'

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By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
December 13, 2011|11:02 pm

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has given an interview to Iowa’s “Des Moines Register” Monday; telling reporter Kathie Obradovich that Catholic bishops working for immigration reform are wrong to do so.

Santorum stated: “If we develop the program like the Catholic bishops suggested, we could be creating a huge magnet for people to come in and break the law some more. We’d be inviting people to cross this border, come into this country and with the expectation that they will be able to stay here permanently.”

The program that Catholic bishops have suggested includes reform in five specific areas: global anti-poverty efforts, expanded opportunities to reunify families, temporary worker program, broad-based legalization, and restoration of due process.

In each area, the Catholic bishops of Mexico and the United States have issued statements. When it comes to global anti-poverty efforts, the bishops stated: “Trade, international economic aid, debt relief, and other types of economic policies should be pursued that result in people not having to migrate in desperation in order to survive.”

The bishops also called “for a reduction of the pending backlog and more visas available for family reunification purposes.”

They outlined improvements for the temporary worker program, including better working conditions and more respect.

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They stated: “Opportunities should be provided for them [illegal immigrants] to obtain legalization if they can demonstrate good moral character and have built up equities in this country.”

Finally, the bishops have urged the government “to revisit these laws and to make appropriate changes consistent with due process rights.”

Their letter stated: “We are a nation with a long, rich tradition of welcoming newcomers. Government policies that unfairly and inappropriately confuse immigration with terrorism do not make us safer, tarnish our heritage, and damage our standing abroad.”

Santorum, in contrast, stated, “We have to have rules and we have to keep those rules in American or we would be a magnet for more people who want to break the law.”

Santorum was once listed as one of the 25 most influential evangelists by “Time” magazine. He regularly attends Catholic mass, according to reports. The Catholic bishops have not issued a response to Santorum’s critique.

 

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