We write to comment on Roland Ley's Dec. 3 letter in Fence Post. We did not state that we "speak for the Catholic Church" on the issues of temporary driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants when we lobbied in Springfield on Nov. 28. (The Illinois Catholic Bishops and the Illinois Catholic Conference had already stated their support of this legislation.) Rather, we attempted to meet with state legislators as members of Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, a group composed of Catholic religious Sisters and Brothers of the Archdiocese of Chicago, to request their support.
As Catholics, we believe that faith calls for respect for every human being, regardless of immigration status, and an acknowledgment of the dignity of their efforts to work in order to provide for themselves and their families. We agree with Mr. Ley on the need for comprehensive immigration reform. However, until such legislation is passed, the approximately 250,000 undocumented Illinois immigrant motorists still need to drive to work, drive their children to and from school, drive to medical appointments, etc. And, they need to do it safely.
We are grateful to Sen. Matt Murphy who voted in favor of SB 957 at the committee level. We are grateful to Rep. Carol Sente, who is polling her constituents on this issue. And, we are grateful to the Daily Herald, which endorsed the campaign to grant temporary driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.
Sr. Kristine Vorenkamp
Br. Michael Gosch, CSV