What's New at JFI
(Or print the postcards to mail to your lawmakers)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
USCCB Chair Applauds Passage of Immigration Reform Bill Out of Committee; Urges Full Senate to Begin Debate As Soon As Possible
May 23, 2013
Committee process and vote show strong bipartisan support
U.S. bishops will try to improve bill as process moves on
Path to citizenship, family immigration remain strong priorities
Tampa Bay Times: Cutoff date in immigration bill would leave many in shadows
May 18, 2013
A wide-ranging immigration bill being debated in the Senate provides a pathway to citizenship for some 11 million undocumented immigrants but excludes people who arrived in the United States illegally after Dec. 31, 2011. No one is sure how many people would be affected, but it could surpass 300,000. Other exclusions, including those barring the poor from a path to citizenship, would push the number even higher.
Bishop Kevin Vann blogging from the Diocese of Orange, CA: Meeting with U.S. Representative John Campbell of Irvine
May 9, 2013
St. Joseph was an immigrant. By necessity he had to abandon his home, taking Mary and the child Jesus to a foreign land. St. Joseph throughout his many trials trusted in God’s providence and faithfully provided for his family. The plight of Joseph and the Holy Family in the gospel according to Matthew is mirrored repeatedly in the lives of many immigrants and refugees who have come to the United States.
Op-Ed by Bishop Armando Ochoa in the Fresno Bee:
Immigration reform needs clear path to citizenship
May 9, 2013
I join with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and clergy across all denominations calling on our representatives to act now so families can step out of the shadows and become full citizens of our region, our state and our country.
National Catholic Reporter: Negotiation, compromise lead to senators' new immigration proposal
May 6, 2013
On the conference call with reporters, Cardinal Dolan called attention to a recent poll that indicated 77 percent of U.S. Catholics support immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship. "We're talking about an essential element of Catholic doctrine. This isn't some wild left-wing cause here, this is classic Catholic teaching," Dolan said. "The popes, the Holy See, the magisterium have been clear about the rights of the immigrant, the right of the refugee. So this isn't just some new, popular bandwagon that the bishops, that the church is jumping on."
South Florida Sun Sentinel Op-Ed by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami: Path to citizenship should be widened
May 5, 2013
Polls show that the large majority of Americans support a path to citizenship and that they want Congress to fix the broken immigration system. They do not want to revisit this issue anytime soon — they want it solved. They also want immigrants in the legal system sooner rather than later, so that they possess the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
Philadelphia Inquirer: "Camden bishop: 'Moral urgency' for immigration reform"
May 5, 2013
God, Bishop Sullivan said, "teaches us to welcome the strangers, to care for the least among us."
"We are keepers of our sisters and brothers. We pray, we beg that this message is heard outside these doors."
View photos from the story
Michael Sean Winters' blog, Distinctly Catholic, in the National Catholic Reporter: More on Immigration Reform
May 2, 2013
The Justice for Immigrants campaign has done a good job of educating Catholics about the issue.
Statement on Immigration Reform by the California Catholic Conference of Bishops
May 1, 2013
The U.S. Senate proposal is welcomed. As people of faith, we are compelled to care for the least among us in loving response to Jesus who says to us: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” We look forward to meeting with legislators and working to ensure that the final bill brings immigrants out from the shadows so that all of us together can make America stronger.
Even as we join with others in carefully reviewing the 844-page bill, we will continue and expand our efforts to enlist California Catholics—and others of good will—to advocate for this much needed reform of our national immigration laws.
Catholic Conference of Ohio: Statement on Immigration
April 23, 2013
We write to ask for your support for immediate reform of our nation’s immigration laws.
Arizona Republic Op-Ed: Catholic Bishops: Immigration reform is finally in reach
April 23, 2013
Now, it is critical to communicate with legislators and speak up about the legislation and how it can be amended to most effectively address the wide range of issues it seeks to resolve. We believe most Americans understand that our immigration system is broken. Here is our chance to fix it.
USCCB President Says ‘Now Is The Time’ To Reform Immigration System
April 22, 2013
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said in a press conference April 22 that “now is the time” to fix the nation’s broken immigration system. Cardinal Dolan was joined at the press conference by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, and Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chair of the USCCB Communications Committee.
“Let me say that now is the time to address this issue,” Cardinal Dolan said. “As we speak, persons are being deported and an untold number of families are being divided. Human beings continue to die in the American desert. This suffering must end.”
En Español | Listen to the press briefing | Read the transcript of the briefing
Statement by Cardinal Dolan | En Español
Statement by Archbishop Gomez | En Español
Statement by Bishop Wester | En Español
Survey Shows Strong Catholic Support For Immigration Reform
April 19, 2013
Nearly eighty percent of Catholic voters support earned citizenship.
Most Catholics support the bishops' call to respect human rights and dignity.
Catholics need to contact their legislators.
En Español | Read the survey summary | View the survey
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles: A time for immigration reform
April 19, 2013
Is it fair for our country not to enforce its laws for many years, and then suddenly to start punishing people who broke these laws? I don’t think so. But that’s our policy right now.
And it’s a cruel policy. The problem is the people we are punishing have become our neighbors. Most of those we call “illegal” have been living here for five years or more — two-thirds have been here for at least a decade. Almost half are living in homes with a spouse and children.
by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver: "Immigration and the Catholic Worldview"
April 4, 2013
Today, immigrants are too often viewed solely through a financial lens. They are viewed as workers, and reduced merely to their economic potential. They are treated as objects. But immigrants are members of families, and those families are essential to our social order. They have something to contribute to our national order, because they are human beings, endowed with real dignity. Immigrant families have always contributed to the richness of our culture—particularly the richness of American Catholic culture.
The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) Op-Ed: Immigration laws need reform
March 28, 2013
During Lent, we focus on the theme of repentance and what it means to change our ways and do right by God. As we observe Good Friday today, we recognize the suffering so many people have endured as a result of our broken immigration system: deaths in the desert, years in detention awaiting an immigration hearing, children left without parents and a class of people marginalized to the shadows. It is time to stop the suffering and to prepare for that Easter moment of transformation to new life.
Catholic News Service:
Archbishop - "U.S. risks losing soul by ignoring immigrants' humanity"
March 22, 2013
It's time, the archbishop said, to return God to the debate on immigration and other concerns facing the country. "We have lost the sense of the humanity of the men and women and children who are living in this country illegally," Archbishop Gomez said. "That worries me as a pastor. I'm worried we are losing something of our national soul."
Testimony of Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and Chairman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Before the Senate Judiciary Committee On Comprehensive Immigration Reform
February 12, 2013
The Church’s work in assisting migrants stems from the belief that every person is created in God’s image. In the Old Testament, God calls upon his people to care for the alien because of their own alien experience: “So, you, too, must befriend the alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:17-19) In the New Testament, the image of the migrant is grounded in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. In his own life and work, Jesus identified himself with newcomers and with other marginalized persons in a special way: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Mt. 25:35) Jesus himself was an itinerant preacher without a home of his own as well as a refugee fleeing the terror of Herod. (Mt. 2:15)
Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City in the Deseret News:
My View: A Path to Citizenship
January 29, 2013
Participation in the program would not be easy or cheap. Rather, it requires that immigrants pay a fine for their illegal status, pay back taxes, learn English, and wait for several years before becoming eligible to apply for permanent residency and citizenship.
Immigrants who earn permanent residency and citizenship by meeting these requirements are not being forgiven for their offense. They are earning their right to remain in the United States.
VIDEO: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the U.S. Confe-
rence of Catholic Bishops, discusses immigration and the GOP in an interview on MSNBC.