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Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio: There's more to be done on immigration

2014-11-24

For the Bishop of Brooklyn, Barack Obama's immigration reform is only a temporary solution to a greater problem. 

The president of the United States announced the biggest overhaul to immigration in the last decade. While the move will benefit almost 5 million immigrants, it could be overturned by the president's successor. 

BISHOP NICHOLAS DIMARZIO
Bishop of Brooklyn (USA)
"Unfortunately this is a temporary law, temporary measure which will only last as long as the president is there, the next president can overturn it, but at least it´s a step in the right direction.”

Bishop DiMarzio has followed up extensively on the issue of immigration in the United States. During his visit to the Vatican, he warned of using immigrants for political gain and called on the government to confront the situation from a humanitarian perspective. 

President Obama took executive action on the issue after years of failure to pass a bipartisan bill. Chances dimmed even more after his party faced bitter loses in this month's mid-term election.

BISHOP NICHOLAS DIMARZIO
Bishop of Brooklyn (USA)
"It is important that he takes this step. Unfortunately, there are a lot of political issues invovled on both sides. We are trying to, again, work with both sides of the issue, so that we explain the human side, put a face on it, a human face of what the problems are so that we can get the parties to cooperate. Because only with real cooperation can a real term solution be found.”

The bishop of Brooklyn is all too familiar with the struggles that immigrants face. His grandparents emigrated from Italy to find a better life. Despite the challenges, his family succeeded in "the land of opportunity.” 

BISHOP NICHOLAS DIMARZIO
Bishop of Brooklyn (USA)
"I have a doctorate, my brother is a lawyer, my sister is a graduate nurse, so we made a lot of progress.”

Bishop DiMarzio recently participated in a conference on immigration hosted by the Vatican. Along with 300 bishops, they discussed ways to help migrants integrate into their new cultures and societies. On the final day, they met with Pope Francis, who reminded them that for a Christian, "no one is a stranger.”


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