Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the episcopal conference's Committee on Migration, criticized immigration laws in a Feb. 7 statement sent after both houses of Congress approved an economic and stimulus package that included language to prohibit undocumented immigrants from receiving tax rebates.(Zenit)
"The decision to prohibit undocumented immigrants from receiving tax rebates in the stimulus bill highlights the injustice in our immigration system," he wrote. "It proves that these workers pay into the tax system and help support our economy. It also reveals the hypocrisy of our laws. With one hand our government attempts to deport these workers, but with the other it holds tight the taxes they pay into the system. This perpetuates an underclass of workers without full rights.
"We should not accept the fruits of the labor of these workers at the same time we refuse to provide them the protection of our laws. As a democratic and free nation protective of human rights, we cannot have it both ways. Congress must mend a broken system and show the courage to enact comprehensive immigration reform."
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