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SF Archbishop Endorses Immigration Reform, Opposes Gay Rights Amendment

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco said on Monday that he endorsed the immigration reform bill currently under consideration in Congress, but opposed a gay rights amendment that could be added to the legislation.

Speaking at a news conference at Mission Dolores with immigrant rights groups and undocumented immigrants, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said he supported the idea of immigrants living in the United States illegally having a path to citizenship or at least a green card.

So far that's what the Senate bill on the table would offer. He said the bill is a way to protect U.S. borders while providing a safe haven for family members in fear of deportation.

"One concern for us is to keep families together, so it fits in very highly with our overall priorities, Cordileone said.

SF's Archbishop Endorses Immigration Reform, But Doesn't Include Gays & Lesbians In Family Definition

While he voiced his support for immigration reform, the Archbishop said he opposed an amendment that would allow same-sex couples to sponsor their foreign partners for residency in the U.S., like heterosexual couples.

"We couldn't support something like that. We're willing to debate the issue, but it should be debated on its own merits, not as a part of another issue where we're actually beginning to attain some national unity," he said.

The measure under review in the Senate has several provisions, including safe harbor to undocumented children who have grown up in the U.S., increase work opportunities for foreign nationals, and increased border security.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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