Central American women and children fleeing violence in their homelands seek asylum in America, the advocates said, but are treated like criminals.
The bishops recommended replacing the practice with alternative detention programs that would give back immigrants their dignity and due process.
When Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn celebrated a Mass of Hope and Healing for survivors of sexual abuse by the clergy, the mood was pensive.
After all, this had not been done before in this diocese. It was difficult to judge what the reactions would be.
The liturgy was celebrated the evening of April 15 at St. James Cathedral-Basilica in downtown Brooklyn with more than 100 people in the congregation.
The bishop was joined in the procession by Auxiliary Bishops Raymond Chappetto and Octavio Cisneros, 57 priests and 10 deacons.
Conversations with Sr. Camille: Fr. Francis Shannon ministers to a poor parish in New York City, but he works to emulate Jesus' attitude toward everyone -- especially animals.
Catholic parishes are called to build communion with immigrants and newcomers so people unite in faith rather than solely because of their cultural backgrounds, said the bishop of Brooklyn, N.Y., who has worked for 38 years to improve immigrant relations.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, former executive director of Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told a conference Monday on the integration of immigrants into the Catholic church that in U.S. parishes, immigrants and longtime members can learn from each other if they are open to doing so.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., and named Msgr. Edward Scharfenberger, a priest of the diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., to succeed him.
The pope also appointed Msgr. Andrzej Zglejszewski as an auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., where he is currently co-chancellor and director of the Office of Worship.
The appointments and Hubbard's resignation were announced Tuesday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.