Even though assertions that President Barack Obama is the “deporter in chief” are being debunked by multiple reports, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is pushing the Department of Homeland Security to ease deportations even more before the bishops travel to the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday and hold a Mass for immigrants who have died along the border.
In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on March 26, the bishops wrote that immigration reform would solve a “moral crisis” and is a “top priority” of the USCCB.
“We believe that legislation which provides a path to citizenship for as many as possible for the deserving members of the current undocumented population living in the United States would protect the integrity of immigration families and communities and serve the security, social, and economic interests of the United States,” the bishops wrote.
As the Washington Post noted, the bishops are hoping that Obama’s recent meeting with Pope Francis in which immigration was discussed will help give momentum to amnesty legislation at home. They plan to travel to and tour the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, on Tuesday before the Mass.
“As pastors who witness the human consequences of our broken immigration system every day, we are deeply troubled by the division of families caused by current immigration enforcement policies,” the bishops wrote. “In this regard, we urge you to take steps within your authority to limit these deportations in a way that protects immigrants who are no threat to the community and who might otherwise benefit from immigration reform legislation, and their families.”
They also wrote that “the record number of deportations separating families is a moral crisis which must be addressed” and that comprehensive immigration reform presents “the most enduring solution to our broken system.”
The letter also asks for, among other things, more prosecutorial discretion and an end to the Secure Communities program which requires municipalities to report illegal immigrants to federal authorities.
Pro-amnesty activists groups have been pushing Obama to use more executive actions to ease deportations and have labeled him as the “deporter in chief.” A recent report released by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), though, showed that “98 percent of individuals deported from the United States in 2013 were either criminals, apprehended while illegally crossing the border, or had been previously deported.”
Breitbart News also first reported the findings of a Center for Immigration Studies report that concluded, based on federal government documents, that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security has released 68,000 illegal immigrants who had been previously convicted of a crime last year.