Cardinal urges end to deportation

March 22, 2009 at 10:34 AM

CHICAGO, March 22 (UPI) -- Chicago Cardinal Francis George says the Obama administration has a moral obligation to end deportation raids and push for immigration reform.

"Such reform would be a clear sign this administration is truly about change," George said Saturday at a prayer forum organized by the Archdiocese of Chicago and religious and immigrant rights groups.

The groups called for renewed reform debate in Congress, where efforts to revive the ailing economy have become the top priority, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.

Upward of 360,000 families in the United States have been divided by deportation during the past year, George told the estimated 2,000 people attending the forum at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

To tear wives from husbands and children from parents "is to diminish what God has joined," George said.

Outside the church, an estimated 30 protesters argued illegal immigration steals jobs from U.S. workers. The protest was organized by the Chicago Minuteman Project.

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