U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, "Resolution on Immigration Reform," November 14, 1985
The abolition of the "bracero" program did not abolish the demand for unskilled agricultural and industrial laborers. In order to meet this demand, many employers began hiring illegal immigrants, which encouraged more aliens to enter the country illegally. Congress passed legislation in the early 1980s that penalized employers for hiring illegal immigrants, trying to curb the growing numbers of illegal aliens. In response, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops issued this resolution in 1985, calling for new legislation that would provide a path to legal citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
As you read the document, reflect on the following questions:
- What do the bishops think should be the "centerpiece of immigration reform"?
- What are some of the elements that the bishops believe should be included in new legislation? Why do you think they included some of these elements?
- Do you think the proposals outlined in the bishops' resolution woudl be fair to both legal and illegal immigrants? Why or why not?