Hispanic Bishops Give Hope to Millions of Immigrants in U.S.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A group of 33 American Catholic bishops of Hispanic origin wrote a public letter Monday calling on undocumented immigrants not to lose faith and not to despair because of the lack of immigration reform. The bishops also called on the undocumented not to lose hope in the midst of a record number of deportations. Bishops wrote to undocumented immigrants that "you are not alone or forgotten." The letter was released on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12.

"We recognize that every human being, authorized or not, is an image of God and therefore possesses infinite value and dignity," the letter begins. "We open our arms and hearts to you, and we receive you as members of our Catholic family. As pastors, we direct these words to you from the depths of our heart."

The letter thanks immigrants for "the Christian values you manifest to us with your lives -- your sacrifice for the well-being of your families, your determination and perseverance, your joy of life, your profound faith and fidelity despite your insecurity and many difficulties."