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    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    The fence "and" reform



    In a letter to Sept. 26 on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino, Calif., chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, urged the U.S. Senate to oppose the Secure Fence Act of 2006 and to enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation by the end of the year.

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    “We oppose H.R. 6061 because we believe it would not solve the problem of illegal immigration,” Bishop Barnes said. “Indeed, we believe it would create more problems than it would solve.

    All nations have the right “to control their borders and regulate entry into their countries,” he acknowledged, but noted that that right is conditional.

    “The U.S. Catholic bishops support efforts to ensure that U.S. authorities have the means to control U.S. borders effectively,” he said, “so long as enforcement strategies and mechanisms are applied humanely and protect human life.”

    This looks like a typical situation where both sides of the question are
    right. If the fence stops some border crossings, it will stop some deaths. And
    where the fence is not, better surveillance can be focused.

    The Bishops are right in that both the fence and reform should have been
    enacted before the end of this year. It will come.

    The fence at just over one billion dollars will cost every living American
    roughly $4. As usual, we will use our charge card to pay for it.

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