Catholic Archdiocese of Camden pushing for immigration reforms

The Catholic Diocese of Camden is reaching out to parishioners to support comprehensive immigration reform.

The Catholic Church has become a high-profile supporter of a complete revamp of the country’s federal immigration laws due to “a concern about social justice,” said Andres Arango, Bishop Dennis Sullivan’s delegate for Hispanic ministry.

During a Friday night Mass for 1,500 in Vineland, Sullivan called the immigration system “broken.”

Arango said deportations have torn apart families.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“As members of the same community we need to put a voice to them and say OK, we need to move forward [with] this immigration reform,” he said.

Last week, Angela Kelley of the Center for American Progress described the coalition in support of immigration reform as “Bibles, badges and business.”

Business interests, she said, have joined with law enforcement and religious organizations in support of comprehensive reforms.

Priests throughout the six-county diocese talked about immigration in their weekend sermons. They also distributed postcards for parishioners to send to congressional representatives asking for a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.

Including a path to eventual citizenship will be one of the most contentious parts of an immigration reform package. A bill introduced in the Senate bill will be vetted by the judiciary committee this week.

The rest of New Jersey’s Catholic bishops will conduct coordinated outreach to their congregations in June.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal