The archbishop of Los Angeles is among a group of Latino bishops from throughout the US to have called for undocumented immigrants to be seen as a "revitalizing force" -- instead of as criminals.

The group of 30, including Los Angeles Archbishop José Gómez, released a joint letter vowing to work for immigration law reform, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Noting the suffering, difficulty and other woes such immigrants face, the bishops said they were a "revitalizing force" for the US.

"Instead of receiving our thanks, you are often treated as criminals because you have violated current immigration laws," the three-page letter says.

"The lack of a just, humane and effective reform of immigration laws negatively affects the common good of the United States. We promise to keep working to bring about this change."

The letter was released on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe -- a sacred day for Latino Catholics.

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