Bishop Wester responds to President Obama's DREAM Act announcement

Friday, Jun. 15, 2012

The Most Rev. John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, welcomed President Barack Obama’s June 15 announcement that deferred action will be granted on a case-by-case basis to youth who entered the United States by age 15 and who have not committed certain offenses.

“I think that this is something that is welcome, and I’m very grateful to President Obama and his administration for doing this,” Bishop Wester said. “I think that it’s a very important decision that will bring relief to a segment of our immigrant community that certainly deserves it. These are hard-working, industrious people who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in an untenable situation. It’s just pure justice, it seems to me.”

While Bishop Wester is grateful for President Obama’s action, he believes more needs to be done regarding immigration laws.

“I don’t want to weaken my gratitude, but at the same time there are other segments of our immigrant communities that continue to suffer and live in the shadows, and they too need to be considered,” Bishop Wester said. “There are people who used to qualify for the Dream Act who have been deported, there are people who don’t fall into these narrow parameters that are still not going to get relief that are just as worthy. We still need to look at comprehensive immigration reform.”

At a local level, the Diocese of Salt Lake City will work to help people understand how President Obama’s announcement applies to them, and how they can take advantage of it, Bishop Wester said.

A complete story will appear in the June 22 Intermountain Catholic.

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