ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – U.S. policy on detaining immigrants fleeing violence in Central America is unjust, and the federal government’s obsession with enforcement is hurting families, Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester said Wednesday.
Speaking at an immigration forum at Albuquerque’s Our Lady of Guadalupe parish, Wester didn’t mention the Obama administration by name but said the federal government isn’t giving detained immigrants due process and called on U.S. officials to change that situation. He also said the failure to pass federal comprehensive immigration reform is fostering more poverty and noted that the parents of Jesus were refugees.
“This is a Gospel mandate, not a suggestion,” Wester said, referring to the church’s teaching of treating immigrants with respect.
The immigration forum, which attracted about 400 people, came after Wester heard Pope Francis celebrate Mass from a field in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, last week.
The pontiff spoke on immigration and repeated his call on the faithful to turn attention toward the poor and vulnerable. Ciudad Juarez, on Mexico’s northern border across from El Paso, Texas, was the last stop in the pope’s five-day visit to Mexico.
By RUSSELL CONTRERAS of Washington Times
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