Greensburg bishop to Trump, lawmakers: Fix ‘broken’ U.S. immigration system |

Greensburg bishop to Trump, lawmakers: Fix ‘broken’ U.S. immigration system

Stephen Huba
Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic

Bishop Edward C. Malesic of the Greensburg Catholic Diocese has appealed to Pennsylvania lawmakers and President Donald Trump to solve the nation’s immigration impasse.

In a letter dated July 12, Malesic expressed frustration with the continuing immigration “stranglehold” that is causing “tragic and inhumane consequences” for the United States.

“I am asking you to represent me and those people of goodwill and faith who share my beliefs to the best of your ability,” the bishop wrote, “to protect the vulnerable, to welcome the stranger, to secure our borders, to tend to the needs of immigrant children and families no matter their home of origin. …”

Malesic addressed the letter to U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, and Pat Toomey, R-Allentown, and three Pennsylvania Republican congressmen whose districts include parts of the diocese — John Joyce, Guy Reschenthaler and Glenn Thompson — and asked that it be forwarded to the president.

Malesic could not be reached for comment.

It is unclear what prompted the letter, although Malesic started it by referring to the recent Fourth of July celebration and the hopes that migrants and refugees put in the United States.

“Many of these people, a number of whom are children, are fleeing for their lives after experiencing terrorism and hardship in their home countries. They are looking for safety, shelter, comfort, and peace for themselves and their families. They are knocking at our door. Sadly, their knocks have gone unanswered. What’s worse? We have locked them out,” he wrote.

Malesic referred to Western Pennsylvania’s earlier history with immigrants from Europe, as well as the more recent experience with missionary priests from the Philippines and other countries. The four-county diocese has 18 international priests serving its parishes.

“We have excellent relations with (U.S. immigration authorities), but the bureaucratic red tape is often so thick that each successful working visa for a priest who has guaranteed work here manages to put a significant strain on the resources of two diocesan departments for months,” he said. “Often, the delays caused by our inefficient system of immigration prevent us from serving the needs of our parishes as best as we can with the help of these international priests.”

Malesic said he supports the maintenance of secure borders — “This is both a right and an obligation of every nation” — but that the immigration system is broken.

“I implore you to make good decisions about keeping us safe at our border,” he wrote, “and then make equally good decisions to open the path to legitimate immigration that allows us to grow as a country, so that we can continue to reap the benefits of good and hardworking people who have the desire to call our country their home too, just like my immigrant grandparents did many years ago.”

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.