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Pope Francis Visits the U.S.-Mexico Border:
This week Pope Francis will make his first official trip to Mexico, which includes an historic visit to the U.S.- Mexico border. His presence there will highlight the violence, extreme poverty and human rights violations that have forced so many people to flee their homes on a perilous search for safety and freedom abroad. The Pope’s visit to the border will serve to remind the U.S. of the inherent dignity of the 11 million people living in our country without documentation. These are our neighbors—people who make invaluable contributions to our communities and economy, but who are nonetheless forced to live in the shadows of society.
The Ignation Solidarity Network (ISN), a JFI core member organization, has a website devoted to the Holy Father's visit to the border. Please visit the ISN's Pope2Border website for resources that you, your parishes, and other supporters of immigrants can use to stand in solidarity with Pope Francis as he travels to the U.S-Mexico border.
URGENT Action Alert: Call Now!
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives finishes floor debate and will vote on H.R. 240, the 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, and amendments will be considered for the bill. These amendments will undo Executive Actions on immigration and put immigrants at greater risk for deportation.
Please call toll-free 1-855-589-5698 and ask your Representative to vote NO on these three amendments AND work to pass meaningful immigration reform. The amendments are:
1) Aderholt Amendment: Prohibits funds or fees to be used for DAPA.
2) Blackburn Amendment: Effectively repeals DACA, prohibits renewals and new adjudications, putting all DREAMers at risk for deportation.
3) DeSantis Amendment: Prevents ICE from setting enforcement priorities and could discourage victims of domestic violence from reporting abuse due to the fear of being deported.
Current state of U.S. immigration `an offense against God,’ say bishops
Catholic News Service (courtesy of CatholicPhilly.com): SAN ANTONIO (CNS) — In a new pastoral letter “Families Beyond Borders,” the bishops of the border region of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico humanize the immigration debate by placing it in a moral context with specific illustrations of struggling children and families. Video | Read “Families Beyond Borders” | En Español: Familia Mas Alla De las Fronteras
Guest Column by Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, VA and Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond, VA: Who is my neighbor?
Richmond Times-Dispatch: We write as bishops whose own families immigrated to this country from Italy. We live in a commonwealth settled by immigrants from Europe, and now populated by people from every corner of the globe. As they always have, immigrants sit among us in our pews and our classrooms. We see them ahead of us in the grocery line, or behind us at traffic lights. Many of those we interact with every day, including our co-workers and employees, are immigrants. They live in our neighborhoods and pay taxes in our communities. They are our neighbors.
Homily by Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas
When we reject a stranger we are rejecting Christ.
USCCB Testimony on Undocumented Youth Submitted to the House Judiciary Committee - Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security
I ask that you provide the most generous relief possible for them, including a path to citizenship within a reasonable time period. I also stress the importance of providing that relief as part of broader comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the status of the rest of the 11 million undocumented persons residing in the United States, including – but not limited to – the parents of these children, many of whom are still providing care for their children.
USCCB Chairman commends U.S. Senate for passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation
Overall improves upon status quo
Bishops will seek more changes as process continues
House should act on bi-partisan comprehensive bill
Bishop Kevin Vann blogging from the Diocese of Orange, CA: Meeting with U.S. Representative John Campbell of Irvine
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.
Michael Sean Winters' blog, Distinctly Catholic, in the National Catholic Reporter: More on Immigration Reform
The Justice for Immigrants campaign has done a good job of educating Catholics about the issue.
Survey Shows Strong Catholic Support For Immigration Reform
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.
From the Arkansas Catholic newspaper: Politicians must tackle reform, Bishop Taylor urges
Holding up a thick volume of “Caring for Migrants: A Collection of Church Documents on the Pastoral Care of Migrants,” a compendium of Church teaching on immigration over the past 60 years, Bishop Taylor began his remarks, saying, “The fullest expression of Catholic teaching on immigration and national borders and the human rights of immigrants is rooted the dignity and transcendence of the human person as revealed in Scripture.”
Read More (and see a photo of Bishop Taylor) | Read Bishop Taylor's entire presentation
VIDEO: Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles reflecting on immigration in an
introduction to the USCCB document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the call to political responsibility issued by the U.S. bishops in 2007 and reissued last fall.
Comments by Bishop Joseph Latino of the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi prior to Catholic Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 29, 2012.
Surely public issues such as the welfare of children and immigration, as well as the myriad of other challenges facing our state have strong moral dimensions. Indeed the well-being of children should be at the forefront of all legislation. Current proposed immigration legislation will adversely affect children and families. As Catholics we must always defend the dignity of the human person and the dignity of the family.
Letter from the Hispanic/Latino Bishops to Immigrants
“In your suffering faces we see the true face of Jesus Christ,” the bishops wrote. “We are well aware of the great sacrifice you make for your families’ well-being. Despite your contributions to the well-being of our country, instead of receiving our thanks, you are often treated as criminals because you have violated current immigration laws.”
En Español | Read More | View video from Auxiliary Bishop Arturo Cepeda of Detroit
Migration Committee Chair Expresses Support For Alabama Bishops’ Efforts To Reverse Unjust State Immigration Law
On behalf of the U.S. Catholic bishops, I offer my solidarity with and support to Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, archbishop of Mobile, AL, and Bishop Robert J. Baker, bishop of Birmingham, AL,—in close collaboration with other religious leaders of the State—in their efforts to turn back a State law which would threaten the ministry of the Church in Alabama to undocumented immigrants.
The Catholic Church provides pastoral and social services to all persons, regardless of their immigration status. Our mandate is to provide for the pastoral and social care of all of God’s children. Government should not infringe upon that duty, as America’s founding fathers made clear in the U.S. Constitution.
Archbishop Rodi of Mobile: Alabama Churches Unite to Halt Anti-Immigration Law
This law attacks our very understanding of what it means to be a Christian.
Oklahoma Catholic Church leaders speak out on immigration
Immigration should be the responsibility of federal lawmakers, and laws passed should treat the undocumented humanely and with dignity, respecting the disadvantaged, families and children, says a statement released by Catholic Church leaders in Oklahoma.
Jackson, Mississippi: Day of Prayer and Fasting for Just Immigration Reform
As Bishop of the Diocese of Jackson, I reiterate my previous statements in union with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that we need a national comprehensive immigration policy change rooted in justice and the dignity of the human person. Our fellow human beings, fellow Christians and in most cases our fellow Catholics walk in fear and are being pushed to the margins of life. This is occurring because of very specific decisions and actions on the part of some, albeit, well- intentioned people; as well as silence, on the part of many good people.
Bishop Robert W. Finn, Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph: Immigration laws require 'expanded vision.'
We ought not to be satisfied with the present circumstance of the undocumented migrant until our leaders work harder to reform immigration in our country. The law of human dignity, and the integrity and protection of families, must be able to live side by side with meaningful border controls and a responsible and obtainable path to
citizenship. Immigration reform is a volatile issue in our country and, true enough, elected officials are caught in the divide. But we must be willing to work hard in support of meaningful reform.
Read Bishop Finn's Homily for the Mass at the Immigration Conference.
USCCB Chairman Calls Senate Vote on Dream Act A Setback, Not a Defeat
On behalf of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, I express my gratitude to those elected officials who did the right thing and voted for this important bill.
Read More | En Español
USCCB Statement on the passage of the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives
From Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles and Archbishop José H. Gomez, Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles
Statement on the DREAM Act by Archbishop José Gomez, Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles
Today, I ask our elected officials in Congress to remember how we are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants and that we, too, have benefitted from this opportunity and the American values of fairness, compassion, and hard work. With the passage of the DREAM Act, we can welcome a new generation of Americans who will one day become the leaders of our communities.
U.S. Bishops Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Migration, expresses the bishops' support for comprehensive immigration reform. Such reform would take into account both the rights of a country to secure its borders and the rights of people to emigrate to support themselves and their families.