CNS photo/Rafael Crisostomo, Catholic Standard
(PROVIDENCE, R.I.)-The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, today offered the following statement relative to the announcement of a bipartisan immigration reform ‘blueprint’ developed by eight United States Senators.
“Today’s announcement of a bipartisan ‘blueprint’ to address the challenges faced by millions of our undocumented brothers and sisters is welcome news and a step in the right direction,” said Bishop Tobin. “As I have shared in the past, almost no one is happy with the status quo, but the only way to address that unhappiness is by changing the immigration laws and fixing the system. I am hopeful that the United States Congress and the President can enact a fair reform of our nation’s immigration policies.”
Columns written by Bishop Tobin on the issue of Immigration:
- On Immigration, Newt is Right
- My Ideas on Immigration
- Immigration: Questions & Answers
- Immigrants are People, Not Problems
Through its office of Catholic Charities and Social Ministry, the Diocese provides a number of services to the state’s immigrant community. These include tutors for refugee students and classes on citizenship and English as a Second Language. The office also assists with family petitions, religious visa petitions, adjustment of status, naturalization, work permit renewals, photos and other consultations relative to the immigration process. In affiliation with Migration & Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Diocese provides refugee resettlement services.
In August of 2008, Bishop Tobin and a group of pastors who serve Rhode Island’s immigrant community signed a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials urging federal officials to declare a moratorium on immigration raids and to allow ICE agents to excuse themselves from raids should they believe that participation in such events would violate their conscience. After an executive order issued by former Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri that caused a great deal of fear and anxiety throughout the immigrant community, the Bishop and faith leaders called on the Governor to rescind the order.