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Immigrants: 'Our best and brightest'

Archbishop Wenski responds to reported comments by President Trump

MIAMI | Archbishop Thomas Wenski posted the following statement on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, in response to reports that President Trump had disparaged immigrants from Haiti, Africa and Central America during a meeting Jan. 11 with a bipartisan Congressional delegation. The meeting was to discuss a proposed solution to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that expires in March, affecting more than 700,000 young adults known as "dreamers."

“Those countries the President disparaged are by no means Shangri-Las; but that’s why people emigrate from them. And, as Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty suggests, they become the “best and the brightest” of the immigrants to this country.

“On Tuesday, the President suggested that he would sign whatever Congress brought him on the issue of DACA and a broader immigration reform. When he met with the bipartisan leaders to discuss their negotiations yesterday he brought with him some of the most hardline of the immigration restrictionists people from FAIR and Numbers USA. His remarks laid bare the true motivations of those that want to close our nation to immigrants and hopefully these remarks have discredited the restrictionists' position.

“So now is the time for Congress to move ahead to give a path to residency and citizenship to DACA recipients as well as to TPS beneficiaries, and to bring about comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes those irregular migrants already in the country and addresses border security in a rational way and provides an avenue for work-based visas when the labor market requires workers that cannot be found in the country.”

The archbishop also spoke on the topic during an interview with Crux, a Catholic news website.

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