People in El Paso, Texas, protest the separation of families suspected of illegally entering the U.S. (CNS photo/Mike Blake, Reuters) 


WASHINGTON—Bishop  Joe S. Vásquez, of Austin, Texas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, sent a letter to every Member of the U.S. House of Representatives in response to two immigration bills that are expected to be taken up later this week by the full House. Bishop Vasquez had previously written in opposition to the first of the two bills (H.R. 4760), introduced in January of this year. The  bishop’s June 18 letter focuses most of its attention on a second, yet-to-be-numbered House Republican Leadership alternative bill.

“While we truly want a legislative solution for Dreamers, we cannot, in good faith, endorse large structural changes to the immigration system that detrimentally impact families and the vulnerable, such as those that are contained in this legislation,” Bishop Vásquez wrote. “We welcome the opportunity to dialogue with lawmakers and to discuss possible opportunities for further compromise, particularly with respect to effects on families and the vulnerable.”

“My brother bishops and I appreciate the effort by Representatives to find a legislative solution for Dreamers by bringing immigration measures before the House of Representatives,” he added. “We believe that any such legislation must be bipartisan, provide Dreamers with a path to citizenship, be pro-family, protect the vulnerable and be respectful of human dignity with regard to border security and enforcement.”

Bishop Vásquez reminded Members of the House that the Administration can end family separation without legislation through executive discretion.

The full text of theletter is available at