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Miami archbishop chides GOPers on immigration

MIami Archbishop Thomas Wenski on Thursday called U.S. immigration policy "cynical" and criticized two Florida Republicans -- Sen. George LeMieux and Sen.-elect Marco Rubio -- for their stances on immigration reform.

"I don't think the problem is the border necessarily," Wenski told the Miami Herald's editorial board in a wide-ranging interview.

Increasing border security has kept undocumented immigrants who come to the U.S. for seasonal work to return home, he argued, calling for a temporary worker program and an effort to legalize the millions of undocumented immigrants in the country.

"The whole policy is a cynical policy," Wenski said. "Their work is necessary. If there weren't the jobs here, they wouldn't come."

In conversations with Rubio, the newly elected senator talked about undocumented immigrants having to go to the "back of the line," Wenski said, scoffing at the concept: "There was never a line in the first place," he said.

Wenski also tried unsuccessfully to persuade LeMieux to support the Dream Act, which would legalize hundreds of thousands of undocumented students brought illegally into the country by their parents when they were children. The measure passed in the U.S. House of Representatives but stalled in the Senate. LeMieux and Rubio have opposed the law.

"It doesn't seem like Congress wants to listen to any good sense these days," Wenski lamented.