A coalition of Catholic-based leaders have called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform in a letter, according to Faith In Public Life (FPL). The Catholic leaders wrote the letter to Congress as the March for Life protest occured in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, marking the 42nd anniversary since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on Roe vs. Wade.

"As Catholics committed to building a culture of life, we write to urge our fellow Catholics in Congress to support the U.S. bishops' effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform," noted the letter from FPL. "Our nation's inhumane and flawed immigration policies leave migrant women, children and families abandoned by the side of the road."

The letter, which includes more than 100 signatures ranging from presidents from universities, immigrant rights groups, Latino studies institutes and religious-based organizations, said immigration is a pro-life issue. The letter also cited Pope Francis' view that the death of migrants is part of a "globalization of indifference."

"The immigration crisis will not be solved by threats to shut down government agencies, enforcement-only strategies or piecemeal approaches. Breaking up immigrant families and denying protection to those fleeing gang or cartel violence, as just one example, is neither a humane or effective strategy," the letter read.

The Catholic leaders are urging for comprehensive immigration reform that would include an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, or "those in the shadows," in addition to expedited family reunification and improved refugee protection.

The letter further requests an immediate vote on the issue, stating, "Delay and partisan bickering will only lead to more hardship, suffering and death."

The letter comes as the White House battles with Congress, namely the House of Representatives, on immigration and abortion. On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 7, which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortions with 242 votes in favor and 179 opposed.

President Barack Obama wrote his opposition to the House bill, stating, "The federal government should not be injecting itself into decisions best made between women, their families, and their doctors. I am also deeply committed to continuing our work to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, promote adoptions, and minimize the need for abortion."

On immigration, the House also passed a U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding bill with amendments attached that would ease or eliminate Obama's immigration executive actions. While the Senate has yet to vote on the bill, Obama has already said he will veto legislation that would negatively affect his executive actions.


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