Washington's immigration ethics debate reaches out to TucsonPosted: Updated:
A congressional committee Wednesday took a serious look at immigration reform, and how to accomplish that goal ethically. But they looked for answers from an unusual group, members of the clergy, including the leader of Tucson's Catholic Community.
"It is our view that the best way to secure our southern border is through immigration reform," Bishop Gerald Kicanas is from Tucson where the battle over immigration reform is at its boiling point. But it doesn't take being the hotbed of the immigration controversy to agree with him that something has to be done.
"To just simply deport everybody is immoral and it's not consistent with the rule of law," says Matthew Staver of the Liberty University School of Law.
These men are trying to tell congress how to reform the immigration system in the most ethical way possible. And it starts with helping the people already here, most of which have families of their own.
"I propose first of all that you have a pathway to earned legal status whether that is citizenship or temporary residency or worker visa status," says Staver.
But congressional lawmakers are fighting a political game. "Every single republican is committed to denying, denouncing, and ensuring that this president fails on immigration reform, that this congress fails on immigration reform. And you tell me how do we overcome that mindset," says Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.
And they are fighting what can seem to be a losing game.
"We've had two signs up at the border for two decades. One says no trespassing. The other says help wanted," says Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has said the house is not going to do anything with immigration reform until the senate passes a bill, which may not happen until after midterm elections.