Immigration Raid: Archbishop Worries About Families Torn Apart
PORTLAND - Archbishop John G. Vlazny has issued a statement about Tuesday's immigration raid in north Portland:
Yesterday's raid on the Fresh Del Monte Produce plant in North Portland is an affront to a nation whose tradition has always welcomed the stranger in search of the security and livelihood which he cannot find in the country of his origin. 167 families have been torn apart. They live in uncertainty. Many do not know where the sole support of their family has been taken. They have no idea when or if their loved ones will return. Within the immigrant community, there is a fear that raids such as this are aimed at ridding the country of a significant number of immigrants before immigration reform is achieved.
Comprehensive reform of United States' immigration policies is an urgent need. Congress cannot wait to reform the immigration system because human beings are suffering. Human life and human dignity are at stake. Our current policies do not provide reasonable and timely procedures for those seeking residency or citizenship. They do not adequately provide for family reunification.
If such reform is to be achieved, it is essential that there be a moratorium on such raids until Congress can reform the nation's immigration system. We ask that public officials work toward a reasonable solution that will offer a path to citizenship to immigrants who are now forced to live in the shadows. The immigrant community that lives in our midst is frightened and in pain. I encourage Catholic parishes and individuals to offer assistance and support to families that have been affected by this raid.