Jackson Bishop calls so-called "Sanctuary Cities" proposal flawe - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson Bishop calls so-called "Sanctuary Cities" proposal flawed

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source:WLBT Source:WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese has come out with a strongly worded statement against a so-called "Sanctuary Cities" bill pending in the legislature.

Mississippi doesn't have any official sanctuary cities, yet the legislature is looking to ban them. 

Bishop Joseph Kopacz of the Jackson Catholic Diocese blasted Senate Bill 2710 as flawed and not needed.  

"The Bishop feels like this bill is not needed. It is not necessary," said Diocese Communications Director Maureen Smith. "Our call to be welcoming to a stranger and to keep our community safe is already being served." 

"All too often, we have seen situations where municipalities decide to get into the arena and offer sanctuary cities which are in violation of federal law," said bill author Senator Sean Tindell. "So we just want to make sure everybody is following the federal immigration laws."

The Senate passed the bill on a 31-16 vote.

Bishop Kopacz is urging lawmakers and advocates to oppose SB 2710 and said the Catholic community will continue to work with immigrants and refugees.

This is the full statement released Wednesday: 

As Christians, we are called to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. As citizens, we are called to keep our communities strong and safe, We feel that the so-called “Sanctuary Cities” bill (SB 2710) being debated right now in the Mississippi Legislature damages both of those efforts.

The bill is flawed and not needed. Its language is so broad it will only confuse an already complicated issue and could put already vulnerable people at higher risk. Members of our law enforcement communities work hard to build trust in their communities. Putting them under a vague mandate such as this one would damage that trust.

Immigrants, both those who enter this country legally and those who have come here hoping for a path to a new life, may be scared to seek needed help if they believe officers and first responders have been pitted against them.

SB 2710 may confuse those seeking education services for their children or college students who wish to seek help from a counselor or other administrator on campus. All of these unintended consequences make this bill a poor proposal for our state.

We urge lawmakers and advocates to oppose SB 2710. We will, as a Catholic community, continue to work with immigrants and refugees, welcoming their contributions to our community and culture, even as we pray for a just solution to the challenges of immigration and security.

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