Though the United States has separation of church and state, it does not mean that religious figures and bodies can't take political stands. And that is what the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops did earlier this month. While it is unknown if he was speaking as an individual or on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, it is clear that he wants the House of Representatives to work on immigration reform.
Without further information, it is not entirely clear what aspects of immigration reform the archbishop was calling for, but it likely has something to do with creating a path toward legal permanent residency for the millions of people outside of the immigration system. Providing people who continue to live in the U.S. after their visas have expired or who never had visas to begin with has been one of the most contentious aspects of immigration reform.
But that is not the only aspect of immigration reform that is on the table. There are many people in the U.S., lawmakers included, who want to make it easier for American-trained graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to change their student visas to work visas. The idea is that if these recent graduates can work in the U.S., they can bring their science skills to the American economy after the U.S. government has spent so much to subsidize their education.
Of course, immigration reform does raise a lot of different opinions, but the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops notes that the current system can tear apart the families to which they pastor.
Source: FOX News, "U.S. Catholic bishops call for immigration reform," June 5, 2014