[Silver Spring, MD]  We, the presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, express our opposition to the enactment and implementation of Arizona SB1070 which criminalizes undocumented immigrants. It is unthinkable to us that in this country a state legislature and governor would give law enforcement officers power to detain and arrest individuals based on the color of their skin or manner of dress or of speaking.

 For many years Catholic sisters in LCWR member congregations have worked closely with immigrant communities and understand their suffering, frustration, and fear of being detained, separated from their children, and deported.  Through both Republican and Democrat Administrations LCWR has advocated for meaningful and just immigration reform. We welcome the recent statement of Bishop John Wester, chair of the Migration Committee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, supporting the bishops of Arizona in their opposition to the enactment and implementation of this legislation.

 We hope and pray that this appalling legislation will never be enacted. We also hope that it will serve as a wake-up call to Congress and the Administration about the urgency of enacting comprehensive immigration reform that is both just and humane.  In the absence of comprehensive reform, other states may follow the misdirected lead of Arizona.

 The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has approximately 1500 members, who represent more than 90 percent of the 59,000 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today's world.