The former vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops believes that Pope Francis will try to “prod” lawmakers to pass comprehensive amnesty legislation when he address Congress in September.
Tuscon Bishop Gerald Kicanas told the House Judiciary Subcommittee Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security on Wednesday that immigration is an issue that is “dear to his heart” and mentioned that Pope Francis has already criticized the European Union for not being as welcoming to North African and Middle Eastern immigrants. He noted that Pope Francis’s first pastoral visit was to a Mediterranean island to pray for migrants who have drowned while trying to get to Europe.
When Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) asked Kicanas what he thought Pope Francis will say on immigration when he addresses Congress in September, Kicanas said he did not know for certain. But Kicanas said he believes Pope Francis “will prod the Congress to move forward with courage and conviction” with a “comprehensive” amnesty bill that includes a “pathway to citizenship,” border security, “more legal ways for people to come here,” provisions for “reuniting families” and “helping these sending countries” so migrants who do not want to leave their home country can remain.
Though Pope Francis will not have time to visit Mexico this year, he has said that, “to enter the United States from the border with Mexico would be a beautiful gesture of brotherhood and support for immigrants.”
During last summer’s border crisis, Pope Francis said the flood of illegal immigrant juveniles should be “welcomed and protected” and called for an end of “racist and xenophobic” attitudes.
As Breitbart News has reported, “Blase Cupich, the Chicago Archibishop who is described as Pope Francis’s ‘American messenger,’ also praised Obama’s executive amnesty last year.”
Pope Francis is scheduled to address Congress on September 24.